Economics of music streaming Contents

Annex 1: Glossary of terms

Table 1: Relevant glossary of terms




An intermediary company that submits music to DSPs for companies.


Artistas Intérpretes o Ejecutantes, Entidad de Gestión de Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual. A Spanish collecting society operating globally through 98 reciprocal agreements with collecting societies in 57 countries.


Association of Independent Music. A UK trade organisation for the independent music community, representing over 1000 independent record labels and associated businesses.


Where rights ownership is transferred from one party to another.

Anglo-American Repertoire

Commonly refers to songs registered with collecting societies in the UK, Ireland, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.


Someone who performs the work written by a songwriter or composer during the recording of the track (see featured artist/performer and non-featured artist/performer). Also referred to as a performer or recording artist.


A catch-all term for composers and songwriters.


British Phonographic Industry Limited. A UK trade organisation representing the recorded music industry, including the three major record labels and over 400 independent record labels.


Competition and Markets Authority. The UK’s competition regulator that works to promote competition for the benefit of consumers, both within and outside the UK.


Collective Management Organisation (see collecting society).

Collecting society

A non-governmental body created by copyright law or private agreement which licenses copyright works on behalf of the creators and engages in collective rights management. Also known as a copyright collective, copyright society, copyright collecting agency, licensing agency, copyright collecting society or collective management organisation (CMO).

Collective licensing

When rightsholders license their rights together as one entity, appointing a collecting society to enforce and administer these rights on their behalf. Often subject to additional regulation to address competition law concerns.

Collective rights management

The licensing of copyright and related rights by organisations acting on behalf of rightsholders.


Someone who writes music and lyrics for songs of any genre.

Compulsory licensing

When the law obliges rightsholders to provide a license to (a certain group of) licensees, usually managed by collecting societies.

Communication to the public

A form of copyright control exploited by broadcasters where there is “any communication to the public of their works by wire or wireless means”.


A catch-all term referring to composers, songwriters, artists, performers and producers.


An intermediary company that gets recorded music to relevant (physical and digital) markets.


Digital Service Provider. In the music industry, a DSP is a company that provides digital music services, such as downloading and streaming.


Entertainment Retailers’ Association. A UK trade organisation formed to act as a forum for the physical and digital retail and wholesale sectors of the music, video and videogames industries.

Equitable remuneration

A performer right where performers (including non-featured performers) enjoy an automatic, unalienable, non-transferable statutory right to share in recording revenues. The right to equitable remuneration only applies in certain circumstances, as established in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.


Featured Artists’ Coalition. A UK trade organisation representing the specific, collective rights and interests of featured artists, with a global membership of creators at all stages of their careers.

Featured artist/performer

A performer whose name the performance or recording is released under, as opposed to a non-featured artist/performer. Record labels will sign deals with featured artists.


A hybrid music streaming service that incorporates both a basic, ad-funded streaming service free of charge alongside one or more premium services offering additional or enhanced functionality.


International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. A trade association that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. It has over 8,000 members across more than 70 countries.


Independent Music Companies Association. An international trade organisation for independent music companies. Formerly the Independent Music Publishers and Labels Association.


An international hub for independent music publishers who collectively license their mechanical rights to a wide range of streaming services.


Independent Music Publishers’ Forum. A trade association representing independent music publishers globally, based in Brussels. It has more than 90 members throughout the world including the leading independent music publishing companies in the UK.

Independent music company

A company which, together with the companies in its group, has less than five percent of the world market in recording and publishing.

Internet Association

A trade association that represents the global interests of over 40 of the world’s internet companies.

Ivors Academy

A trade association representing professional songwriters and composers to support, protect and celebrate music creators, including through its internationally respected Ivors Awards. Formerly named the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA). Now named for Ivor Novello, a Welsh composer and actor.

Making available right

A form of copyright control exploited by services (e.g. streaming services) where the user “may access [music] from a place and at a time individually chosen by them”.

Major music company

A multinational company which, together with the companies in its group, has more than five percent of the world market in recording and publishing.

Mechanical rights

How publishers refer to reproduction rights, particularly when exploited through the recording and distribution of songs.


Music Managers’ Forum. A UK trade organisation with a membership of over 1,000 that engages, advises and lobbies industry associates and wider industry on issues that are relevant to music managers.


Music Publishers’ Association. A UK trade organisation that represents the music publishing sector, acting on behalf of 240 members ranging from the UK’s major music publishers to independents and start-ups and representing close to 4,000 catalogues.


Music Producers’ Guild. A UK trade organisation representing and promoting the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including music studios, producers, engineers, mixers, remixers, programmers and mastering engineers.


Musicians’ Union. A trade union for performers, songwriters and composers run by its 32,000 members.

Non-featured artist/performer

A performer who is only credited on a recording in small print, such as back-up singers or session musicians.


Someone who performs the work written by a songwriter or composer during the recording of the track (see featured artist/performer and non-featured artist/performer). Also referred to as an artist or recording artist.

Performer rights

The specific rights of performers over sound recordings of their performances that co-exist with the rights of the rightsholder where the performer does not own the relevant rights to their performance. This includes the right to equitable remuneration.

Performing rights

A specific copyright control regarding the public performance and communication of works.


Phonographic Performance Limited. A collecting society that collects royalties on behalf of over 110,000 record companies and performers. It licenses recorded music played in public (at pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, shops, offices and many other business types) and broadcast (TV and radio). This includes when their recorded music is played around the world through a network of international agreements with other collecting societies.


Performing Rights Organisation. A collecting society that specifically focuses on performing rights.

PRS for Music

A collecting society that is responsible for the collective licensing of rights in the musical works of 150,000 composers, songwriters and publishers and an international repertoire of 28 million songs. The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) collects for ‘mechanical’ reproduction rights and the Performing Right Society (PRS) collects for public performance rights.


A music company that owns and controls song rights, so called because they historically published sheet music books.

Record label

A company that markets recorded music and corresponding videos, invests in new artists and enforces copyright, so called because of the circular label that appeared on the cover of physical sales. Also known as a record company.

Recording rights

Copyright in sound recording of a performance. Also known as master rights.

Reproduction rights

A specific copyright control regarding the reproduction and distribution of works.


Recording Industry Association of America. A trade organisation that represents the recorded music industry in the United States.

Safe harbour

A statutory limitation of financial and pecuniary liability for internet service providers (including music streaming services that host user-generated content) where the provider “has neither knowledge of nor control over the [infringing] information which is transmitted or stored”.

Song rights

Copyright in the song lyrics and music.


Someone who writes music and lyrics for songs of any genre.


The process whereby music multimedia is accessed by consumers over the internet.

Synchronisation (sync)

When film, TV and game producers incorporate music into audio-visual productions.


A UK trade association for technology companies with over 850 members.

UK Music

An industry-funded trade organisation established in October 2008 to represent the collective interests of the recorded, published and live arms of the British music industry.


The underlying music composition, comprising music and lyrics.


A catch-all term for composers and songwriters.

Published: 15 July 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement