SoundExchange Pays Record $733 Million To Artists, Labels

soundexchangeAs cash registers continue to ring-down for music sales, streaming revenue is again on the rise. This time for artists and record labels from more than 2,500 non-interactive Internet radio (Pandora, etc.), satellite radio and cable radio services collected by SoundExchange for their use of sound recordings.

This week (Jan. 28), the 15-year-old nonprofit announced a record breaking year-end royalty distribution totaling approximately $773 million. Those figures are up 31 percent from last year’s $590 million.

By comparison, BMI paid out $840 million to the songwriters and publishers in its most recent fiscal year.

SoundExchange“2014 was a banner year for SoundExchange,” said SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe. “Not only did we pay out more royalties to recording artists and record labels, but they now receive payments faster than ever after we became the first sound recording performance rights organization in the world to deliver monthly payments. While 2014 finished on a high note, we look forward to continuing our success and growth in 2015 which promises to be even more exciting.”

The Washington DC-based company’s 2014 fourth quarter distribution also increased from the previous year with more than 38,800 payments totaling approximately $183 million.

For SoundExchange, significant 2014 endeavors included:

• Project72, a campaign launched to ensure fair pay for artists who recorded their music before
• 1972, in support of the RESPECT Act.
• Issuing quarterly Digital Radio Reports.
• Beginning the SoundExchange Influencers Series at the Bluebird Café in Nashville.
• Reaching thousands of artists and record labels through ongoing outreach as well as several high-profile and effective database matches with partner organizations such as SXSW, CMJ, GRAMMYS, SAG-AFTRA, LOCKN’ Music Festival, and School Night
• Announcing Michael Huppe as President and CEO through 2018.
• Introducing annual year-end charts naming the Top Streaming Artists, Top Recordings, and Top Breakout Artists.
• Representing the entire recorded music industry in proceedings before the Copyright Royalty Board to set rates paid by webcasters.


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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