In February 2021, the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) absorbed approximately $424 million in unclaimed streaming royalties from major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. The MLC was created after Congressional approval, with a mandate to collect and distribute songwriters and musicians' royalty payments. However, by the end of 2021, the MLC had accumulated at least $561 million in unmatched royalties, according to a tax document shared with the media outlet Digital Music News (DMN).
Music streaming has become an integral part of the music industry, with platforms like Spotify and Apple Music leading the charge. However, the current economic model for music streaming has been the subject of much debate, with many artists and rightsholders feeling like they are not being fairly compensated for their work. Universal Music Group (UMG) and Tidal have announced a new partnership aimed at exploring an alternative economic model for music streaming that might better reward the value provided by artists.