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MLC to Help Indie Distributors Find Unclaimed Royalties With New Portal

Called DURP, the new service provides distributors with a custom dashboard to help them find so-called unclaimed royalties for their artists.

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) has launched a new portal designed to help more independent distributors and artists get paid what they’re due, the organization announced Tuesday (Sept. 27).


Called Distributor Unmatched Recordings Portal (DURP), the platform was created with the help of seven independent music distributors: Tune Core, CD Baby, Believe, Repost by Soundcloud, Symphonic Distribution, Empire and Vydia. By helping distributors find unmatched data for the sound recordings they’ve distributed, the MLC’s aim is to see more royalties filter down to indie acts.

To help distributors navigate the portal, a free webinar will be led by DURP’s project lead, Dae Bogan, on Oct. 14 — though it can be used right away if distributors request access. Once approved, distributors will be granted access to a custom dashboard revealing publicly available data for sound recordings they’ve distributed, for which the MLC has accrued unmatched mechanical royalties. The data is derived from usage reports delivered to the MLC by streaming sites including Spotify, Apple Music and more.

Artists working with these companies will not have direct access to DURP, as the service is only intended for distributors. But the MLC states in a press release that it “hopes that more distributors will share this information with the artists who are their customers and encourage them to make sure their works are properly registered with The MLC.”

For a platform like TuneCore, which has serviced over 1 million artists to date, DURP could be helpful in reaching many DIY creators who might not be aware of the MLC — provided the distributor chooses to reach out to those artists and remedy the situation.

The announcement notes that, during testing of the new service, DURP was able to locate $20,000 in previously unpaid royalties for Australian artist RØNIN and onboard him to the MLC. “This will help me a lot,” says RØNIN in a statement. “I’m looking forward to continuing my relationship with The MLC and collecting my monthly checks!”

“Our data has identified millions of dollars in unmatched digital audio mechanical royalties due to creators for songs they’ve recorded and released through more than 1,800 independent music distributors, aggregators and labels around the world,” added Bogan, head of third-party partnerships at the MLC. “By giving these companies visibility into the data, we can help them serve their customers better and help The MLC reduce unclaimed royalties.”