First / final distribution: how it works

Rights for a given reference year are not paid out in one go but in two stages. In other words, there are two distributions for one and the same reference year.

First distribution

PlayRight links the declarations in our database against the titles on the national sales and broadcast lists for a specific reference year. Often not all artists will have declared their contribution when we perform our first calculations.

To ensure that the rights for artists whose declarations haven’t been submitted yet are secure, we compile a “virtual cast” for each recording, depending on its nature. This virtual casting lists all the possible contributions to the recording, the number of A, B or C roles.

On the basis of the virtual cast and the roles specified, the neighbouring rights for a specific contribution to a recording are then calculated. The rights are paid to those who submitted their contribution and are reserved for the “virtual artists”.

Final distribution

Three years after the first rights for any given reference year have been paid, we perform a final, concluding distribution. This means that artists who omitted to timely declare their performances can no longer benefit from their neighbouring rights in any recordings that were used during the reference year in question (even though they can still qualify for rights in subsequent years).

When proceeding to a final distribution, all the remaining amounts are distributed amongst the artists who declared their performance. In these final calculations, the virtual cast no longer features, only the contributions that were effectively declared are taken into account.

This method ensures that all the artists concerned certainly have plenty of time to submit their declarations.

A distribution for a reference year always takes place in two stages. It is often observed that there is a difference in the amounts of rights received between a first distribution and a final distribution. Here’s why:

Practical example:

For the distribution of musical rights for recordings broadcast in 2012, PlayRight will make a first distribution in 2013 and a final distribution in 2016.

For the track “Play it Right” played in 2012 and matched to our playlists, PlayRight has, at the time of the first distribution, five declarations from 5 different performers.
However, the data in our possession strongly suggest that there are actually 9 musicians in total on this recording: it’s the virtual cast.

For lack of having all the declarations for this recording at the time of the first distribution, this virtual casting allows to freeze the rights of the possible artists who did not declare this recording yet. The amount of the rights received by each artist who already declared “Play it Right” is based on this virtual casting, starting from the amount allocated to this recording at the time of the first distribution.

At the time of the final distribution in 2016, PlayRight has six declarations for the recording. This is the real cast.

PlayRight unlocks the reserves made during the first distribution (virtual casting) and distributes them to the real cast, in proportion to the values they have been allocated and the roles of each performer.

For the recordings without declaration (and therefor, without real cast), reserves made with the virtual cast are also unlocked. They are then distributed among all the Playlist recordings that have a real cast, in proportion to the values they have been allocated and the roles of each performer. This operation then modifies the initial value allocated to a record, and thus the calculation of the rights.

The calculated amounts for this work are based on the declarations of six performers, and are divided among them according to the role they have on this recording. The individuals amounts at this final distribution are therefore more important: the value allocated to the recording has changed and the virtual cast is suppressed in favour of the real cast.

You will find a recap of the distribution of your rights in your PlayRight Portal, in the “rights” section. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Account Manager (contact on left section in your portal). He / she will also be able to provide you with details of the calculation of your distributed rights, by recording and reference year.

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