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Spoken Giants Responds to MLC's $424 Million Dollar Day; Signs Don Rickles Estate and Mike Birbiglia

·4 min read

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Jim King, CEO of Spoken Giants, announced today that the Don Rickles estate and comedian Mike Birbiglia are among the latest to sign with the first royalty administration company for creators of spoken word copyrights (comedians, podcasters, authors of speeches/lectures). They join hundreds of other creators and over 40K comedy tracks represented by Spoken Giants, which launched last October with a roster that includes Lewis Black, Dan Cummins, Gerry Dee, Pete Holmes, Kyle Kinane, Kathleen Madigan, the estate of Ralphie May, Leanne Morgan, and Theo Von, among others.

Spoken Giants Logo (PRNewsfoto/Spoken Giants)
Spoken Giants Logo (PRNewsfoto/Spoken Giants)

Also today, Mr. King responded to The Mechanical Licensing Collective's (MLC) announcement that $424 million in unmatched royalties have been collected from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Google and other streaming platforms, to be distributed to music creators. The news has positive implications for spoken word creators who, prior to the formation of Spoken Giants, were without collective representation. He states:

"As a multiple rights organization, we're in-line with what the MLC does for songwriters. A $424 million announcement is certainly significant for music creators and those representing them and we look forward to the future when Spoken Giants and MLC are working hand in hand to serve our respective members. For now, the question remains, 'when and how will authors of spoken word content receive appropriate compensation?' Comedy, podcasts, speeches, and audiobooks are being consumed online at consistently high rates but those creators have historically been without an advocate, until now. Our rapidly growing membership base demonstrates the need and we're working overtime to complete agreements with some of the world's funniest individuals, past and present. On that note, I'm proud to announce that the estate of Don Rickles and comedian Mike Birbiglia, are two of our most recent signings. As our membership grows, so do the benefits for our entire community."

Although consumers stream spoken word comedy and podcast content, streaming platforms have cited the lack of collective representation as an obstacle to properly compensating spoken word creators. In estimating royalties owed for its usage, Pandora wrote in 2015 of defaulting to a nebulous "industry-wide custom and practice" in determining spoken word's value in the absence of "a specific license from any such performing rights organization or individual rights owners." With its 2019 formation and launch in 2020, Spoken Giants became that credible, significant rights organization, offering accountability and transparency as it claims royalties owed to the copyright holders they represent.

Ironically, Pandora's filing also forecasted the arrival of Spoken Giants - their filing further stated, "There can be no assurance that this industry custom will not change or that we will not otherwise become subject to additional licensing costs for spoken word comedy content imposed by performing rights organizations or individual copyright owners in the future or be subject to damages for copyright infringement."

Now four months into Spoken Giants' public presence, it may be said that that the future is now.

(Source: Pandora 2015 shareholder filing).

ABOUT SPOKEN GIANTS: Founded by former BMI executive Jim King and 800 Pound Gorilla Records co-founders Ryan Bitzer and Damion Greiman, Spoken Giants is a royalty administration company representing the creators of spoken word copyrights (comedians, podcasters, etc.) Their credible, transparent, and accurate royalty management corrects global financial oversights of the past as they become the de facto collective for spoken word's future.

Spoken Giants represents underlying composition copyrights and their revenue is based on a percentage of monies collected. For members, this income stream is supplemental to revenue earned from SoundExchange for sound recordings. Members retain all rights to their work and gain access to data, analytics, deep market knowledge, copyrights administration and repertoire management across all affiliates, and carefully optimized royalty administration processing.

Spoken Giants utilizes Muserk for tracking, royalty collection, and reporting. The AI technology-driven administration platform with proprietary M-MATCH and M-PAC technology manages millions of works on all the major tech platforms (YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, etc.) and has found millions in uncollected royalties for copyright holders around the world, delivering a 25% increase in royalties on average for its clients. Pay-outs from Spoken Giants are facilitated by Exactuals, a wholly owned subsidiary of City National Bank and the Royal Bank of Canada, which will provide secure royalty disbursements through their PaymentHUB service, which allows affiliates to manage how they receive royalties. The portal also retains statements for future reference.

Spoken Giants media contact:
Tiffany Shipp


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SOURCE Spoken Giants