We were reading Hypebot the other day and came across some encouraging info about SoudExchange — the nonprofit organiztion that collects and distributes royalties for digital public performances (think webcasts, Pandora, satellite radio). We love it when more artists get paid, so we were pretty psyched to read about the 17 percent increase in distributed royalties.
2011 was a record-setting year for streaming music. SoundExchange recently reported that it distributed $292 million in royalties last year — no small sum. Payouts continue to grow quarterly, with a fourth quarter royalties distribution of $89.5 million being its largest to date.
Additionally, SoundExchange registered approximately 15,300 new artists, labels and rightsholders, an increase from the almost 12,000 in 2010. The organization also announced that it has expanded its international reach. More artists in their system means more checks cut for musicians. And that system should hopefully be getting even more efficient: SoundExchange’s royalty payment mechanism is getting a technical overhaul that will continue throughout 2012.
The digital public performance royalty works like this: the featured performer receives 45 percent; the backing musicians receive 5 percent, and the sound recording copyright owner (usually the label) receives 50 percent. If you own your own masters (meaning you haven’t transferred them to a label), you’re entitled to the other 50 percent. That’s a pretty sweet deal.
If you think you’re entitled to royalties for digital transmissions, the best way to get your money is to register with SoundExchange. And you don’t have to spend any of your own scratch to do so — signing up is completley free.
For more info on SoundExchange, check out our handy SX fact sheet.