Sony Music Entertainment is rolling out a sophisticated online portal to its artists and their managers that will allow them to drill down and analyze each artist’s sales and streaming activity and royalties.
Sony has built on an existing portal dubbed eLink, launched in 2010. The new portal provides a tool that helps its artists and their business teams handle the overwhelming amount of information that comes with the dramatic growth in "micro-transactions" generated by streaming as well as new fractional licensing technologies like the one recently deployed by SoundCloud.
Recalling their early touring days, major label artists' statements used to require a church van to move them. Now, in the wake of the digital revolution, some artists can have over a million lines in their statements -- a tractor-trailer would now be required to spirit its statements around, say industry executives.
“We had two primary goals: make the statement easier to review and understand at a glance, and provide the artist and their management with a more powerful and flexible tool so they can analyze their royalties in whatever way they want,” says Sony Music Entertainment executive vp & controller of global finance Carmine Coppola.
The enhanced Sony portal has been launched in the U.S., Sweden, Norway, Finland, Australia and New Zealand.
“Our new tool filters the desired information and creates graphics or visual pictures, and from there you can easily drill down to the underlying details,” Coppola says. “It’s a really transparent, powerful tool that provides the artist with information about their earnings at their fingertips. They can analyze their music royalty earnings by products, by digital partner, by digital channel or by geographical market. They also can see earnings from ad-supported streaming separate from subscription streaming."
Managers can see artists earnings under various contracts; and artists and managers tracking recoupments can see third-party charges that were spent on behalf of a project. "Artists can also view a breakage summary by digital service provider,” Coppola adds. And the data can be downloaded to excel, Sony company executives report.
Sony will still send a summary statement in paper by mail, with the details being accessible through the portal.
“As artists and managers use it, we want their feedback so we can enhance and add to it,” Coppola says. “We have resources to take the feedback, provide help and respond to online and phone inquiries. We are already working on an updated version with enhancements including adding functionality so our employee base -- whether in our royalty department or at our label -- can use it to make their day to day processes more efficient.”