It’s A Wrap for 2019

SoundExchange distributed a total of $908.2 million in 2019 and $218.8 million in Q4. During Q4, 37,035 music creator accounts received payments - an 8.7% increase in accounts year over year.

Among these are 920 accounts that received their first royalty checks. Congratulations on your success!


Paid to recording artists recording artists

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.).

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and rights owners rights owners

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."

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SoundExchange’s 2019
Breakout Artists and Top Tracks

Our 2019 charts are out! Breakout Artists for 2019 include Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and other chart-topping newcomers. The Jonas Brothers reunion brought us “Sucker,” which sits in the number one spot on our Top Tracks list. Normani and Sam Smith’s “Dancing with a Stranger” came in second and Post Malone’s “Wow.” came in third.

Read The Full List

Heads Up: New Tax
Requirement for Letters
of Direction (LODs)

Starting January 1, 2020, creative participants, (i.e. producers, mixers, and sound engineers) are now taxed directly when they receive money from artists via letters of direction (LOD). This means that SoundExchange will be required to withhold taxes for any creative participant paid via LOD unless their authorized representatives have provided us with a completed W-8 or W-9. Read our blog for more information on the new tax requirement.

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SXDirect Update Delivers
Control and Transparency

Last November, we introduced new features to SoundExchange Direct’s (SXDirect) “My Catalog” suite. These updates provide music creators with faster payment and greater control of their accounts. If you want to “master” the use of My Catalog, be sure to check out our “Mastering My Catalog” tutorial series on our blog.

Master My Catalog

You Were Made for This

Congratulations Finneas. Best of luck to you and all the SoundExchange members nominated for the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. We will be singing your praises (and recordings) on Sunday.

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.