SoundExchange is a non-profit performance rights organization, similar to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC that collects royalties on the behalf of the sound recording copyright owners (SCRO’S), commonly record labels, as well as featured and independent artists, for non-interactive digital transmissions including satellite, internet radio and cable music stations.
The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act both granted a performance right (aka royalty) for sound recordings that were delivered digitally. SoundExchange was appointed by the Copyright Royalty Board as the sole entity in the U.S. to collect and distribute digital performance royalties. This was a tremendous step for artists of all sizes. They stood to benefit off the widening distribution of music through satellite television channels and internet streaming.
SoundExchanges pays out statutory licenses. These government-issued agreements allow for any eligible service to have access to copyrighted material without having to seek permission from the copyright owner. A couple keys to services like this are that they are non-interactive (ie. songs are not able to be chosen and are delivered to the end-user randomly) and must adhere to a performance complement which limits the amount of times a service may transmit from a specific artist or album during a specific period of time. An example of an interactive service that does NOT quality is YouTube, since the user is able to select what it wants to hear, as well as repeat it as many times as they desire.
We focus on artists at ktc mgmt so we’re mostly worried about how artists can benefit with this type of service. Its really simple actually as SoundExchange collects these royalties every single second of every single day, without you even knowing; and this is a good thing. At one point last year, SoundExchange claimed to have about a hundred million dollars in unpaid royalties. They collect these royalties and hold them until they’re paid out. If you think that your music is being played on places like cable or satellite music channels, internet radio, or XM/Sirius Radio then you should sign-up today! You can sign-up online or print out and mail in your membership agreement. Its free and members are eligible, according to SoundExchange, to receive special rates and discounts on programs and tools of the music trade – conference rates, publication subscriptions, data and monitoring services, promotional tools, insurance, and even hotel and car rentals.
SoundExchange is a supplemental service and should be combined with joining one of the three Performance RIghts Organizations ; BMI, ASCAP or SESAC. If you’re interested to learn more about these three services, check our blog postings from last week.
and…don’t forget to sign-up here: www.soundexchange.com