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Growing the royalty pie: How Pex is fueling the creator economy through liability protection and licensing

Larry Mills

There’s a running joke in my house between my kids and me. It’s based around how much I like pie, especially for breakfast, which is the best time for pie. They get nervous that any leftover pie may not be there in the morning if I wake up before them, and most of the time they are right.

I was thinking about this while on the phone with the CEO of a prominent music company the other day, who said to me, “What I like about Pex is that you are growing the pie, not just moving the pieces around.” The music industry, like my kids, would benefit from a bigger pie.

True opportunity lies in new money

For the past 25 or so years that I’ve been in the music business, I’ve generally focused on what I call ‘new money.’ New money comes from new opportunities, but in our digital world, new opportunities are often too difficult to monetize, or don’t last long enough to bring real value. 

Today’s thriving global platforms either got big quick and/or started out well funded. Accelerated growth allowed them to gain leverage by being of importance to the broader user community. Once they gained influence, it became more difficult, more time consuming, and more expensive to negotiate with them.

Platforms that grew more moderately were often bogged down with costly upfront licensing fees and struggled to reach their full potential, or provide significant value for content owners. Because of this, there are very few “middle class” platforms – only startups and giants. But if new platforms could grow moderately into a robust middle class, they would create new money for content owners and an ongoing, sustainable, competitive landscape.

Currently the pie is small, and while a few verticals are showing real potential (gaming and fitness for example), we should all want to support the next wave of platforms that can create a lucrative middle class – and a much bigger pie.

Growing the pie with Attribution Engine

This idea of new money, or building a bigger pie, is really at the heart of what we are doing at Pex. We’ve built the first real-time marketplace for copyrighted content that gives content-sharing platforms, content owners, and creators a frictionless way to interact with each other, creating more opportunities for all. Our Attribution Engine is the first end-to-end copyright solution allowing platforms to license content in real-time, content owners to monitor and monetize their work, and creators to upload freely while respecting copyright. 

Attribution Engine also ensures platforms are compliant with Article 17 of the European Union Copyright Directive and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This protection means startups can grow safely, while still licensing from content owners. It allows everyone the freedom to focus on what they do best, while Pex focuses on:

  • Ensuring content-sharing platforms are compliant with major copyright laws 
  • Connecting the broader rights community with these platforms for licensing opportunities 
  • Removing barriers to entry for platforms to increase revenue opportunities for all
  • Providing protection, balance, and certainty to an unstable creator economy

When platforms can emerge and grow, content owners and creators benefit from increased monetization and licensing opportunities. With a strong middle class of platforms, there will finally be a big enough pie for everyone. 

Reach out at [email protected] to learn more about Attribution Engine and how Pex is supporting the creator economy. 

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