In this article, I am discussing the upcoming features of DMP Guru related to royalty statement ingestion, calculations and generation of outgoing ones. There is a more general article about Music Royalty Software in the Music Publishing Software section.

There is nothing difficult in making a royalty software, all one needs, besides decent programming skills, are some basic accounting knowledge and enough examples. While I do plan to release basic royalty-related features as open source as soon as they are ready, the Excel template with pivot tables will only be available through the DMP Guru instances.

While this may, at first, seem like breaking the no lock-in policy, this is actually not the fact. A publisher that wants to walk away from DMP Guru, but still continue using Django Music Publisher (DMP) will be able to re-use the templates by copy-pasting data to the first sheet.

The first territory where DMP Guru has a significant number of users and matching royalty statements is the UK (and Ireland if one is PRS affiliate). Therefore this article is based on royalty statements from PRS for Music in CSV format, though it should apply to any statement in CSV format that contains at least one of the following:

  • Publisher’s Work ID
  • ISWC
  • ISRC
  • Society Work ID (called Tunecode at PRS for Music)

Please note that for the matching process, one of the provided information must be available in DMP instance for every work. If more than one is present, then the priority the one from the list above.

Matching Process

The goal of the matching process is to find to which of the works in the database, a statement line refers to. In DMP, with the data provided, it can be either one or none. DMP, therefore, does not provide matching on data that is not unique, such as title, writers’ last names, etc.

Publisher’s Work ID is assigned by DMP. ISWC and ISRC are usually entered manually. Society’s Work ID is usually extracted from CWR acknowledgement files, though it may also set manually. In the case of CSV exports, this may be the only available information of the four.

Once a statement line is matched with a musical work, the next step is to calculate how to split the revenue.

Revenue Calculations

Revenue calculations are really a simple thing. For every statement line, the amount is split across the controlled writers based on their relative share. This means that for every incoming line, if the work was matched, there are one or more outgoing lines. Besides this initial amount, there is a publisher’s fee, which is deducted from the gross amount, and the resulting net amount.

In addition to these three columns, DMP adds several other columns to make the process clearer. In it’s basic form, the outgoing CSV is basically the same as incoming CSV with additional columns.

Excel Export, Accounting Data and Outgoing Royalty Statements

DMP Guru can, besides this basic CSV, also export a complex Excel file, in which the data from the basic CSV is just one of the worksheets. Other sheets include pivot tables and charts, which can then be used for delivering summarized data to accounting and/or create outgoing royalty statements.

This will be explained in the next article.

It must be clearly stated that DMP Guru does not save any of the data, either from incoming or outgoing statements, as it does not attempt to be a complete solution for Music Royalty Accounting. It is my conviction that accounting should be left to accountants. The goal of a music royalty software should not go beyond providing them with correct data.