We move fast here at SoundExchange, and we got off to a fast start when the new year began. In the first quarter of 2018, royalty distributions to recording artists and rights owners increased more than 17 percent year-over-year. Our first quarter distribution also was the largest distribution since Q4 2016. Just as important is the fact that we are getting money into the hands of more people. We had more payees in the first quarter than we've had since Q3 2016. Those are some pretty significant milestones, and they can only mean one thing: we're off and running.
RECORDING ARTISTS - For SoundExchange, there are two different categories of recording artists: featured and non-featured. "Featured artists" refers to the group or individual most prominently featured on a sound recording, track or album. "Featured artists" receive direct payments from SoundExchange. A "non-featured artist" is an artist who is not prominently featured on a sound recording, track or album (i.e. a session musician or a back-up vocalist). Royalties for "non-featured artists" are covered by organizations such as the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA.).
RIGHTS OWNERS - "Rights owners" own the "master" to recorded artistic content. These entities are often referred to as "record labels." Those artists who own their own masters are often referred to as "independents" or "indies."
Music licensing reform took a major step forward once the calendar flipped to 2018. Here are some of the big milestones on Capitol Hill this year:
House Judiciary Committee lawmakers expressed bipartisan support for music licensing reform at a historic congressional field hearing in New York City during the 60th GRAMMY® Week.
Lawmakers introduced the CLASSICS Act (S.2393), a Senate companion bill to close a loophole in U.S. Copyright Law and provide federal protection for sound recordings made prior to February 15, 1972.
Music creators held an event on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus to generate support for the CLASSICS Act.
House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously (415-0) to pass the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 5447).
Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on Senate version of the Music Modernization Act (S. 2823), and the bill earns bipartisan support.
We are on the cusp of a significant legislative victory, and it's important for all music creators to contact lawmakers and urge them to pass the CLASSICS Act. Make the call, and let's make history.Support music licensing reform for legacy artists
Who doesn't love a good freestyle? When Emmy, GRAMMY®, and Oscar-winner Common dropped by for a visit, he also dropped a few rhymes on us. Check. It. Out.
It's hard to decide what we love most about South by Southwest®. The music? The barbeque? How about letting artists know we have royalties for them? Yep! We compiled a list of artists performing at SXSW and identified those who have unclaimed SoundExchange royalties (Are you on this list?). We tracked down dozens of artists on the list and registered them - now they can collect their royalties! Are you registered? Are you a member? What are you waiting for? Cash in here.Watch “Cashing In with SoundExchange at SXSW®” playlist
Universal Music artist Matt Hunter stopped by SoundExchange to talk about his work as a voice actor (he started his career as the voice behind Diego in the Nickelodeon series, Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!), his transition to a rising Latin recording artist and the hot collaborations he's got in the works. Matt even treated our ears to a preview of some of his favorite tracks from his upcoming studio release!
On January 23, SXWorks, a subsidiary of SoundExchange, launched NOI LOOKUP, a free service designed to help music publishers and songwriters quickly and easily search the nearly 70 million address unknown Notice of Intention to Use (NOI) filings made with the U.S. Copyright Office. More than 1,100 people registered to use NOI LOOKUP in the first two months that the service was available.
Visit our Digital Radio Report archive to review SoundExchange's performance in past quarters.View archive
SoundExchange develops business solutions to benefit the entire music industry. The organization collects and distributes digital performance royalties on behalf of more than 155,000 recording artists and master rights owners accounts and administers direct agreements on behalf of rights owners and licensees. To date, SoundExchange has paid out more than $5 billion in royalties. SXWorks, a SoundExchange subsidiary created with the acquisition of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA), provides global administration and support services to music publishers for multiple licensing activities.