SoundExchange distributed 256 million in Q3 2019, amounting to a significant, 22% increase in payments to music creators compared to Q3 2018. Not only did our distributions increase, but so did the number of music creator accounts receiving these payments. Read more below for more data on our Q3 distributions.
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."
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Music Modernization Act (MMA). Reflecting upon this tremendous achievement, I’m deeply proud of what our company has accomplished.
I’m proud that SoundExchange has been a leading advocate for music creators for many years. We fought for the RESPECT Act, the AMP Act, and the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, all of which helped pave the way for the MMA. SoundExchange is held out as the best model for the forthcoming Mechanical Licensing Collective and was recognized for our excellence by both the Senate and House Judiciary committees.
I’m proud that our industry – recording artists, labels, songwriters, publishers, and producers alike – came together to support a fundamental principle: Music creators have the right to be paid at fair market rates for the use of their work, wherever it is played. This tenet is a core part of our mission at SoundExchange.
I’m proud that SoundExchange is already administering the majority of the MMA’s provisions, distributing more than $10M in royalties to creators of pre-72 recordings and millions more to producers.
The MMA was a wakeup call to the industry that it has clout when it speaks with one voice and was the first step towards modernizing antiquated music laws. However, there is much work left to be done. One of the most glaring problems that the MMA failed to fix, and a problem that has some of the worst impacts on creators, is “terrestrial” radio’s continuing ability to use recordings without paying for them. How is it that the radio broadcasters, who make $16 billion every year off “the music that draws the crowd,” have managed to preserve their special, antiquated exemption allowing them to “play but not pay” artists?
This week, I joined artist, champion, and visionary, Common, in an op-ed to call upon Congress to take the next steps towards modernization and give music creators a property right when radio stations play their music. Having such a right would ensure that radio broadcasters sit down with music creators and finally agree to pay for the use of their work.
In honor of today’s anniversary, I urge you to share this op-ed, and call upon Congress to better empower music creators to fight against this unfair treatment. If the industry unites to correct this clear injustice, perhaps we can once again continue the good work that the MMA started.
This November, we will introduce new features to SoundExchange Direct’s “My Catalog” suite. From a “Search & Claim” feature that will allow you to select recordings from our extensive database to the “Overlaps & Disputes” tool that will allow you correct royalty splits online, we are providing you greater control and transparency into the royalties you earn.
The rates paid by webcasters and other digital radio services are set by a government agency called the Copyright Royalty Board or CRB, a three-judge panel within the Library of Congress. In a recent blog post, SoundExchange SVP & General Counsel, Colin Rushing, discusses SoundExchange’s recently filed proposal for 2021-2025 that calls for a substantial increase in the rates paid by ad-supported and subscription webcasting services. Ensuring music creators are paid a fair market rate for their music is just one of the ways we are providing solutions for the digital age.
September 15th through October 15th marks Hispanic Heritage Month. To mark the occasion, we took a look at the emergence of Latin music in the U.S. and abroad and interviewed some of the recording artists who are behind the genre’s success. De La Ghetto, Alex Sensation, Sech, and Natti Natasha each share a bit of their story on our blog.
In August, we shared our plans to collaborate with SourceAudio to provide a new solution for the rapidly growing podcast industry to secure music with fully integrated, global licenses. The collaboration will provide Podcastmusic.com, a digital music marketplace for podcasters, with access to SoundExchange’s vast membership of copyright owners and offer a one-stop licensing for podcasters. With the podcast industry forecasted to produce more than $1 billion in advertising revenue by 2021, Podcastmusic.com will provide music creators an opportunity to tap into this rapidly
We have exciting announcements to share about our leadership at SoundExchange and our Canadian subsidiary, the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA).
SoundExchange’s Anjula Singh, who has served as SoundExchange’s Chief Financial Officer since 2014, has been promoted to Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. In this position, she will help implement the vision and overall strategy of SoundExchange as well as assist with oversight of the organization’s day-to-day management. Speaking on her new role, Singh said: “Whether it is providing royalty solutions or advocating for fair pay across all music platforms, I’m thrilled to help advance SoundExchange’s passion for taking the “noise” out of the royalty administration aspect of the business and ensuring the best level of service to the music community.”
Industry veteran, Paul Shaver, has been named President of CMRRA. He previously served as Vice President at Nielsen Entertainment Canada, where he was instrumental in the launch of the Music Connect platform in Canada that provides improved data transparency to publishers and the music industry at large. “I’ve always been passionate about music and the artistic process behind its creation. With the rapid evolution of technology positively impacting consumers’ ability to engage with music, right now music consumption is undergoing significant global growth,” said Shaver. “It’s vital that CMRRA continues to lead the charge to value music for the music publishing community, the songwriters, and the overall music ecosystem.”
SoundExchange was formed to distribute digital performance royalties from non-interactive digital radio services. Since that time, we have distributed more than $6 billion in royalties to music creators with nearly $1 billion distributed in 2018 alone. SoundExchange also is providing more than back-end payment processing for digital radio royalties. We are now a solutions provider for all music creators defined by leading technology, service, and advocacy. We have introduced a range of innovative tools, including Music Data Exchange (MDX), International Standard Recording Codes (ISRC) Search, and the Notice of Intention to Use (NOI) LOOKUP, all of which help music creators ensure they are paid what they deserve. We also have expanded our operations by adding the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) to the SoundExchange family and are enhancing the level of service CMRRA provides the publishing community.
Today, SoundExchange is so much more than “digital radio,” which is why we will be changing the name of this quarterly email. In January 2020, the Digital Radio Report will become “SoundByte,” our digest of SoundExchange platform updates, industry news, and information about our advocacy to ensure music creators are paid fairly. We will send this email on a quarterly basis, and we will still include a section called the “Digital Radio Report” to provide stats on our royalty distributions to music creators.
We are excited about this transition and look forward to sharing more information with you early next year.
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 199,000 recording artists and master rights owners accounts and administers direct agreements on behalf of rights owners and licensees. To date, SoundExchange has paid out $6 billion in royalties.