With its December 2017 distribution, SoundExchange passed the $5 billion mark in digital royalty distributions since the company was formed in 2003.
The US organization, which collects performance royalties from online radio platforms, paid out a total of $652m to recorded music rights-holders in 2017 to surpass the milestone.
SoundExchange’s gross distributions in the U.S. fell more than $225 million (around 26.2 percent) to $652 million from last year’s total of $884 million due to Pandora switching from a compulsory license to direct deal with record labels. In making that shift, Pandora began paying its label partners directly while still paying artist royalties to SoundExchange, to make distributions to them.
In 2017 SoundExchange diversified its offerings to add services for the music publishing community in addition to its core business managing digital sound recording performance royalties.
SoundExchange CEO Michael Huppe said in a statement. “It’s a milestone for the digital music services and, of course, for the artists and rights owners, who create the music that makes those services possible.”
Due to the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) acquisition, overall distribution by SoundExchange companies totaled $683.1 million, which means distributions only declined $200 million last year, when other types of royalties for other licensing rights are taking into consideration. Essentially, it means the new SXWorks operations distributed about $31 million to other rights holders beyond SoundExchange’s traditional client constituency.
According to the SoundExchange press release the following are the achievements for SoundExchange in 2017:
- Achieving an immediate 41 percent increase in royalty rates for SiriusXM’s satellite radio service from 2018 through 2022 in a rate litigation before the Copyright Royalty Board.
- Advocating for several pieces of important legislation, including the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2017 and The CLASSICS Act, which seek to reform antiquated U.S. copyright policy to more fairly compensate creators of music.
- Launching SXWorks, a music publisher services company. The SXWorks Board of Directors includes senior executives from major and independent music publishers.
- Announcing NOI LOOKUP, a new service from SXWorks to help publishers and songwriters search address unknown Notice of Intention to Use filings with the U.S. Copyright Office.