In the latest episode of the Musiio podcast, host Hazel Savage talks to Niclas Molinder, co-founder and CEO of Session and an accomplished songwriter and producer. The conversation covers AI, the education gap regarding IP among creators, and how creators can ensure they get paid for their work. 

Molinder has extensive experience working with prominent artists, including Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, and developing tools to help songwriters navigate rights and splits. His latest project, CLIP, backed by Max Martin, Bjorn from ABBA, and the UN, is a huge step towards educating creators about their intellectual property rights.

Listen to the full episode:

1. $1 Billion of Royalties Go Unattributed Annually

Niclas Molinder highlights a concerning statistic within the music industry: an estimated $1 billion annually goes unpaid due to unclaimed royalties. This loss stems from creatives needing more knowledge about music industry structure and intellectual property rights. This knowledge gap poses a massive challenge for creators trying to monetise their work. Molinder is working to solve the problem with education via CLIP (Creators Learn Intellectual Property) and with the songwriting assistant app Session.

2. Five Numbers Control The Music Industry

“There are five numbers that control the whole music industry,” says Molinder. CLIP lays these out clearly, but these numbers define the names and information about who did what on a song, where and when. These details must be mapped to unique identifiers for the system to work correctly. For example, an artist’s name cannot be used because it may contain letters that don’t appear in all alphabets. Instead, a unique code (or identifier) is used. For a songwriter or publisher, this would be an IPI or Interested Party Information number. But the other important codes are ISWC, ISRC, IPN and ISNI. To learn more about them, visit CLIP.

3. If Identifiers are Missing at Release, A Creator May Never Get Paid

Molinder explains the problem: “If those five numbers (see point 2) are not assigned, linked and matched correctly before the first commercial release of the sound recording, we lose control. The data that is available and linked to this sound recording is going to spread out to databases around the world. And the data that's missing is not going to follow. Since there are thousands of databases, it's impossible to update them all.”

4. Artists Need to Start Conversations About Splits Earlier

Another hurdle for songwriters is the awkwardness of discussing and agreeing on songwriting splits. That’s where the Session Studio app comes in. To overcome the awkwardness, Molinder suggests: “Use tools, and do it after [a session] where you don't have to look in each other's eyes and feel greedy. But make sure that you discuss the split as soon as possible.” A proactive approach to collaboration, agreeing splits early prevents disputes and ensures better relations.

5. Creators are Under-Educated in IP: CLIP Is the Solution 

Molinder identifies that one of the biggest problems for creators is education. But there’s a lot of information to take in, and not all online resources are accurate for all markets. That’s why Molinder has started a new initiative with the help of the UN’s World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) to create CLIP. This website is a free-to-use educational resource to help creators better understand the workings of the industry and how to get paid.


Watch or listen to the full episode above for more insights into the challenges facing creators and how tech and education can solve them.

Check out more Musiio podcast episodes here.

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