Summer's here and it's time to hit the road. Grab the swimsuit and sunglasses. Fill the car with gas -- or plug it in. And grab your playlist.
The journey is just as important as the destination, and every road trip is better when you take music along for the ride. Music fans are driving streams faster than ever, and performance royalties are speeding upward.
SoundExchange paid $214.1 million in digital performance royalties in the second quarter of 2016, up from $192.7 million in the second quarter of 2015. That's an 11.1 percent year-over-year increase.
Royalties in Q2 of 2016 also passed 2016's Q1 distribution of $189.3 million by 13.1 percent. SoundExchange has paid $403.4 million in royalties through the first six months of 2016.
Streaming is in the driver's seat. Enjoy the ride.
In June, SoundExchange joined a coalition of music creators and industry organizations that sent an open letter to Congress – with an accompanying ad campaign in The Hill, Politico, and Roll Call – asking for the reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright ACT (DMCA). The campaign is focused specifically on making changes to the DMCA’s “safe harbor” provisions that have allowed major tech companies to profit from the work of recording artists and songwriters, all while the earnings of those music creators have been diminished, despite the fact that consumption of music has skyrocketed.
The coalition united more than 500 songwriters and recording artists across the entire spectrum of music creators and spans generations and music genres including Rock, Pop, Country, Rap, Christian, Gospel, Jazz, EDM, Folk, and R&B. SoundExchange was joined by eighteen other music industry organizations: A2IM, AFM, ASCAP, Azoff Music, BMI, Global Music Rights, Kobalt, NARAS, NMPA, NSAI, RIAA, SESAC, Sony/ATV, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell, and Warner Music Group.View letter and full list of artists
SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe sat down with recording artists Chiquis Rivera and Leslie Grace during the 2016 Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami to discuss how the shift to streaming has benefited Latin artists.
SoundExchange paid $56 million to Latin music recording artists and rights holders in 2015, Huppe told the Miami Herald.
"Latin music is one of the music industry’s fastest growing segments," Huppe said.
But more needs to be done to ensure that music creators aren’t left behind, the panelists said. That includes increasing the number of Latin artists who register and become members in SoundExchange. To help, SoundExchange offers both its fact sheet and registration forms in Spanish.
"The digital revolution coupled with the increasing popularity of Latin music makes it imperative that we make it as easy as possible for Latin artists to receive their royalties," Huppe said.
SoundExchange and an honorary host committee of 26 Members of Congress were thrilled to offer a charitable event on June 23rd to benefit Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the only high school in Washington, DC’s public school system to have a dual focus on an academic course of study and an arts major. The goal of the event was to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining a vibrant music industry in the U.S. for future generations of music creators. To set the tone for the evening, the Duke Ellington School’s Radical Elite Show Band played for guests as they arrived at the venue.
The students were excited – and very surprised – when Trombone Shorty took the time to meet with them before the event so that he could listen to them play some of their songs and offer words of encouragement. Trombone Shorty’s own commitment to inspiring future generations of musicians can be seen through his work in the community and his own foundation, the Trombone Shorty Foundation. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue kept the energy going with an upbeat performance – the perfect addition to a night dedicated to the next generation of music creators.
The school has offered an arts curriculum for public school students in the District for more than 40 years and has many notable alumni, including singer/instrumentalist, Meshell Ndegeocello, and comedian Dave Chappelle who graduated in 1991.
Country duo, Maddie & Tae, stopped by the SoundExchange office to treat our staff to a mid-day acoustic set and Q&A session before heading out to join Brad Paisley on his summer tour. The ladies praised the SoundExchange staff for their tireless efforts to ensure music creators are paid for their work. "If you want to feel appreciated for your work," Maddie declared, "SoundExchange is the place to be."Read More
Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and 2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple participated in The SoundExchange Influencers Series, held June 2 at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
The Rock Hall’s John Goehrke led the discussion with Hughes and Cantrell, who discussed their musical influences and SoundExchange’s role in the digital age.
"We were honored to hold The SoundExchange Influencers Series at the undisputed shrine to rock music and honored that legends like Glenn Hughes and Jerry Cantrell could participate and delve into the important issues facing musicians and our industry," said SoundExchange
President and CEO Michael Huppe.
Things just keep getting better for Gaby Moreno, winner of the 2013 Latin GRAMMY® Award for "Best New Artist." The Guatemalan indie singer-songwriter was recently tapped to sing the theme song for Disney Channel’s new Latina princess series debuting this summer, Elena de Avalor. Gaby paid SoundExchange a visit on the heels of Disney’s big announcement to talk about music discovery on digital radio before heading to the Kennedy Center for her World Refugee Day performance.Read More