Hipgnosis Song Fund Founder Merck Mercuriadis today published an open letter to the music industry in which he noted: ‘None of us should be able to sleep in good conscience at night until the true value of songwriters’ contributions to this business are recognised.”

SonicData Chairman Kelly Sumner agrees and raises the question of transparency and an understanding of what has been played, when, where and how as key to songwriters knowing their value.

Dear Merck

We agree with you. Songwriters should be at the top of the earnings tree in music.

We advocate transparency for everyone in music. A clear understanding of all use and all plays, with realtime data openly available to the songwriter, artist and manager as well as the recorded music company and publisher, can only be of benefit to everyone.

Where there is little appetite for change, data and transparency will empower the songwriter. Once everyone understands the data the status quo will, we believe, become untenable.

Technology has changed the music industry beyond recognition from what it was. Along the way some forgot that the technology is an enabler of the songwriter, not the purpose of the songwriter. Ironically in the modern era, the technology exists to understand, reference and report all music use, everywhere with full transparency.

You can read Merck’s open letter here.