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Drowning in Data: A Wake-Up Call for the Music Industry


The music business today is made up of countless revenue streams, all with endless volumes of micropayments and many billions or even trillions of lines of data to be processed. Music publishers and their systems are facing an uphill battle as data volumes continue to grow at an exponential rate and rights and payments become increasingly complex. These are the systems that underpin the entire royalties ecosystem, and they are struggling to cope. 

This is the focus of ‘Drowning in Data - Royalty Accounting and Systems in the Digital Age’, a new report released by Synchtank which addresses these challenges and how royalty and finance departments and systems can be primed to handle them over the next decade and beyond.  

The report examines just how high data volumes have risen for music publishers and CMOs and how rapidly they will continue to rise in the years to come. At the same time, it looks at the increased fragmentation of music rights and collection sources across the digital landscape, and how this is exacerbated by dealing with payments on an increasingly global scale. 

Rights holders today are losing out on what could be billions of dollars of revenue because of poor data management and inefficient, legacy systems unequipped to handle the volumes and complexities of the digital age.  

“We want to wake people up to these challenges,” explains Synchtank CEO Rory Bernard. “Publishers need to evaluate whether or not their systems are future-proof or risk being left behind.” Companies operating today need robust, scalable technology in place to stay competitive and capitalize on new opportunities.

The report also emphasizes the importance of retaining and leveraging data for analysis purposes. Artists and songwriters now expect transparent access to their earnings, while rights holders want to leverage data to drive operational decision making and maximize intellectual property. Data is also integral for valuing catalogs and technology can play an important role in supporting this process. 

The recorded music industry’s return to growth has come at a cost: a hugely complicated ecosystem made up of multiple income sources and trillions of lines of data. At a time when industry revenue streams are affected by COVID-19, the need for modern, scalable technology is more apparent than ever. This often overlooked yet critical part of the music industry needs attention, and needs it now. 

The free report, is available publicly to download here, will also be the focus of a multi-panel virtual event hosted by Synchtank on Thursday May 6th, 2021. Details will be announced next week. 

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