Entertainment Technology Summit
Unfortunately for independent creators, one of the toughest parts about starting out in the music industry is getting fair compensation in a timely and efficient manner. But music publisher Regard
Unfortunately for independent creators, one of the toughest parts about starting out in the music industry is getting fair compensation in a timely and efficient manner. But music publisher Regard Music and residual and royalty payment platform Exactuals LLC are trying to change that.
“Exactuals is a huge boost for us as a boutique publisher trying to provide excellent service,” said Regard Music CEO Sean O’Malley at the Variety Entertainment and Technology Summit presented by City National Bank, the parent company of Exactuals. “They help us process payments, pay our clients how they want to be paid — changing daily, if they need to — and really take all of the accounts payable headaches out of our lives. So for us, especially as a small business, it’s extremely empowering.”
Brian Walley, president and COO of Exactuals, explained that Exactuals was founded to “help solve the film and television residuals money flow, where you have approximately 5 million paper checks with two and a half billion dollars of notional value getting paid to actors and writers and directors.” Noticing that music royalties were a similar domain, the company then expanded into supporting brands like Regard.
“We have three offerings,” Walley said. “One being a music metadata cleanup service, two being a royalty administration service and three being a payment service, where we take all of the risk and the ability to register payees and so that great partners like Regard Music don’t have to store bank account information [and] don’t have to store that PII data so that they can be great at helping artists get paid and we are great at paying the artists a hundred regards behalf.”
In the past, O’Malley shared, other companies have attempted to do it all. “There’s two great examples of a desire to create a centralized database in music publishing. They’re both very well-known, and they were both massive failures. We talked about bad data. Bad data will exist unless we each take care of our own and clean our own houses and make sure that those are neat and tidy. At the same time, we need communication, and to Brian’s point, better use of industry standards.”
“There are a lot of industry standards in music. Very few are followed,” O’Malley continued. “But I do believe that when Exactuals delivers these tools, it becomes more important that you understand how to have these things communicate with one another. And that’s what it comes down to. The way we solve this problem in the next five to 10 years is great communication and synchronized efforts across many levels.”