Royalty Payment Distributor To Audit iHeartMedia, Pandora


The nation’s No. 1 owner of broadcast radio stations has received notice from the Mechanical Licensing Collective of the organization’s intent to audit its records over royalty payments.

The audit will examine the accuracy of payments from the iHeartRadio app for the first three years of the MLC’s blanket license.

The process will focus on the period January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2023, Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink first reported on Thursday.

Roughly 50 other DSPs are included in the initial probe, making iHeartMedia not alone as a digital service provider being audited. Indeed, SiriusXM’s Pandora is included, along with streaming giants Google, Spotify, and Apple, as well as the Smithsonian Institution.

The MLC is currently selecting a certified auditor for the process, authorized under the Music Modernization Act. The costs associated with the audits are covered by the MLC’s operational budget, which is fully funded by DSPs through an administrative assessment determined by the Copyright Royalty Board.

Each DSP can be audited no more than once every three years.

Should the audit reveal discrepancies in iHeart’s royalty payments, the MLC will either distribute additional royalties to rightsholders or adjust overpayments by crediting its account.

— Reporting by Cameron Coats