In Q1 2017 we distributed digital performance royalties to more members and registered more music creators than we ever did in any other first quarter since our inception more than a decade ago. Because our number of creators is growing dramatically, we're serving a bigger community than ever. Here's what that looks like - we sent royalties to more than 32,000 payees in Q1, a whopping 26 percent increase over Q1 2016. We also had nearly 10,000 new artists and rights owners join SoundExchange in Q1, a 46 percent increase over the number of registrations we processed in Q1 2016.
We paid out $161.9 million in performance royalties in Q1. Royalties were lower than Q1 2016 mainly due to the impact of direct licenses that Pandora entered into with rights owners. In these new agreements, Pandora is paying rights owners directly and SoundExchange is continuing to pay artist royalties directly for the service's ad-supported tier.
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On March 30, a coalition of bipartisan lawmakers reintroduced the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, H.R. 1836. The bill would ensure that you get paid for the use of your music - wherever it gets played. We fight for music creators every day, and lawmakers are fighting for you, too.
SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe participated in a series of television interviews prior to the GRAMMYs® to promote music creators and discuss the urgent need for copyright reform and ending the "Pre-1972 loophole." Huppe spoke with reporters in numerous markets across the U.S., explaining to viewers from coast to coast that terrestrial radio and digital services are exploiting a loophole in federal law that they believe allows them to deny royalties to featured artists and rights owners who recorded before February 15, 1972.
The 2017 edition of South by Southwest is in the books, but we'll never forget the amazing acts we saw during our week in Austin - especially at the SOUNDExchange SESSIONS at Stubb's Bar-B-Q. After the show, we rounded up a few of our showcasing artists backstage to talk candidly about one of their favorite activities: performing.
We love it when SoundExchange registered members take time out of their busy schedules to stop by our office. MAKO recently popped in between performances. He was kind enough to put on a three-song set for our staff and engage in a Q&A with a packed house of SoundExchange employees. Take a look at our exchange with MAKO and hear what he had to say about his current tour, studying music at Julliard and his love of Gustav Mahler (honest).
During our week at South by Southwest 2017, recording artists told us all the things they love about digital radio: discovering new artists, getting discovered by new fans, and getting paid when their music is streamed! Digital radio helps artists check all those boxes.
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Visit our Digital Radio Report archive to review SoundExchange's performance in past quarters.View archive
SoundExchange is at the center of digital music and ensures that recording artists and rights owners are compensated when their work is streamed on digital radio. We also administer direct agreements entered into between rights owners and digital services and provide distribution services for settlements of royalty disputes.
SoundExchange royalties are paid by more than 2,900 non-interactive Internet radio, satellite radio and cable radio services for their use of sound recordings. These royalties are distributed by SoundExchange directly to the more than 130,000 recording artist and rights owner accounts that earn them.