On September 27 2017 at the RighsTech Summit in NYC, Paperchain’s CTO Rahul Rumalla presented a preview of our research into the music industry’s black box royalties.

Titled, “Understanding Music Industry’s Black Box Royalties”, the presentation highlighted key insights into the research we are conducting into black box royalties.

The research is composed of:

  • a survey on music industry professionals
  • interviews with industry executives and leaders
  • an academic thesis
  • data analysis & case studies

Key insights highlighted where:

  • common keywords from survey respondents on the underlying problem were:

missing, music, incorrect, data, poor, rights, lack, information, metadata

  • 95% of respondents want a centralized database but there is no consensus on who owns, maintains and funds it (big surprise there)
  • there are multiple categories of black boxes: Unidentified performers, Unidentified master owners, Unidentified publishers, Unidentified writers, Unidentified ownership shares, Unnotified works, Unmatched usage to ownership
  • 74% probability that if a work is in one black box, it is in another

The challenges faced vary across the industry, which lead to variation in how this impacts industry stakeholders.


The output will be synthesized into a whitepaper produced in partnership with Music Ally.

A huge thanks to Paul Sweeting and the Concurrent Media and NYME team for a great event. A lot of great minds bouncing ideas off each other and now that technology is catching up to the thinking, there is a real desire to solve these underlying issues.

You can view the full presentation deck below.