Music royalty company SoundExchange has now surpassed the $5 billion mark in lifetime royalty payments to its members of labels and artists. The company has been in existence since 2003 and collects performance royalties from online platforms. In 2017 alone the company paid out $652 million to rights-holders.
Even though the 2017 numbers are about 26% lower than 2016, that drop was expected because of the slowdown in digital radio’s growth. To further complicate things, many rightsholders (like major labels) have direct agreements in place with certain online radio companies.
According to Music Business Worldwide:
More than 3,100 non-interactive Internet radio, satellite radio and cable television services pay digital performance royalties to music creators through SoundExchange.
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.
That diversification includes the acquisition of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. The move allowed SoundExchange to expand their representation to Canada.
Michael Huppe – CEO of SoundExchange – said “Surpassing $5 billion in digital radio distributions marks an important moment for the new music economy. It’s a milestone for the digital music services…SoundExchange is poised to become the leading global player administering both sound recording and music publishing rights on a multi-territorial basis.”