Bridger, A New Independent Rights Management Entity for Songwriters
Bridger offers all songwriters an innovative and easy solution for online copyright collection.
Founded by AudioValley in 2021, Bridger launched in February 2022. Open to all songwriters, it collects and distributes the copyright royalties generated on music streaming services.
Copyright royalties (sometimes called author rights, or publishing rights) cover the composition and the lyrics of a musical work. Every time a piece of music is played on a digital platform, it generates copyright for the songwriters. To collect their copyright, songwriters must join a Collective Management Organization (CMO) or an Independent Management Entity (IME) like Bridger.
Bridger primarily answers the needs of the global independent songwriter’s community that are:
- currently not engaged with any of the existing Collective Management Organization (CMO) nor Performance Right Organization (PRO).
- already affiliated with a CMO or a PRO and who would like to benefit from an additional 100% digital service.
Bridger’s goal is to bring independent songwriters, also named “artist direct”, to copyright.
‘Bridger is the simple solution songwriters were looking for. We can increase the amount of money artists earn by offering them an easy, intuitive and free platform for copyright collection. For many independent artists, Bridger provides the key to unlock an additional source of revenue, along with clear explanations of all the relevant mechanisms of the music industry,’ says Jocelyn Seilles, Founder and General Manager of Bridger.
A new source of revenue for songwriters
To release their music on streaming services, ‘artists direct’ usually go through digital distributors (such as DistroKid, CDBaby and Tunecore). In addition to assisting with distribution, these companies collect and pay master rights back to artists.
But digital distributors collect only master royalties; Bridger collects copyright royalties. Most independent artists are not aware of this specificity and, as a result, are missing a part of their music rights. By subscribing to the service and entrusting the management of their Intellectual Property to Bridger, songwriters unlock a new source of revenue.
Bridger puts songwriters at the core of its services by removing all financial entry barriers. At Bridger, there is no registration, nor any annual fees, and artists keep 90% of their revenues. In this way, they will be starting making money as soon as their music will be streames digital music platforms.
Every year, an estimated $655 million of royalties generated on streaming platforms do not get paid out to the relevant rightsholders. This ‘black box’ of unpaid royalties accumulates because the large numbers of non-affiliated songwriters, along with bad track metadata, make it impossible for the rightsholders to be identified. So, the royalties they have earned cannot be distributed to them.
When songwriters entrust their musical works to Bridger, they avoid falling into this black box, and are sure to get the copyright income they are entitled to receive.
No more administrative headaches
It only takes a few minutes to sign up to Bridger. With its intuitive design, the Bridger interface makes the entire process accessible to all. In just a few easy steps, songwriters can entrust their musical works to Bridger and start collecting copyright generated from digital music platforms.
To create a personal account on Bridger, DIY artists will need to submit some basic information. They must then agree to an online mandate that officially gives Bridger the right to collect the copyright on their behalf and supply their bank details so their income can be transferred to them when copyright royalties are distributed.
After these steps, songwriters can easily import and register their musical works repertoire by linking them to their Bridger account. Subscribers can then make any relevant sharing declarations between co-writers, adjust the percentage split of royalties accordingly, and add any other contributors, before submitting the information so that Bridger can start the copyright collection.
An educational resource for artists
Music industry knowledge is key to artists’ career growth. In addition to its copyright management service, Bridger offers educational resources, freely accessible to all.
A dedicated blog enhances artists’ understanding of the specifics of the music industry and music rights management, helping them develop their careers and speeding them on their way to success.
These educational resources are also shared on all Bridger’s social media, to reach as many artists as possible. In addition, Bridger is finalizing a new series of audio podcasts that will be available in the coming weeks. The weekly episodes will answer any questions independent artists might have about the music industry.