Why All Artists Need to Sign Up for SoundExchange: Unlocking Digital Royalties

In the fast-evolving landscape of music streaming and royalty collection, SoundExchange stands out as a pivotal entity for artists. This post delves into what SoundExchange is, its significance in the music industry, the cost to sign up, and the types of royalties it collects. Understanding SoundExchange is crucial for any artist aiming to maximize their earnings and secure their rights in the digital music era.

What is SoundExchange?

SoundExchange is a non-profit performance rights organization tasked with collecting and distributing digital performance royalties on behalf of recording artists and record labels. Founded in the early 2000s, it plays a vital role in ensuring that artists and labels are compensated when their music is played on digital radio platforms, like satellite radio, internet radio, and cable TV music channels. SoundExchange is unique because it specifically deals with non-interactive digital platforms, where listeners can’t choose the specific tracks they hear.

Signing Up and Costs

Joining SoundExchange is a straightforward process and, importantly, free. This is a significant advantage for artists at all levels, as it ensures that financial barriers don’t prevent them from claiming their rightful earnings. Upon registering, artists gain access to a system designed to track and pay royalties that might otherwise go unclaimed. The process involves providing necessary information about your recordings and keeping them updated with your releases.

Types of Royalties Collected

SoundExchange collects what are known as digital performance royalties. These are different from the royalties collected by organizations like ASCAP, BMI, Harry Fox, and The MLC. Digital performance royalties are generated when a recording is broadcasted on digital radio platforms, including non-interactive streaming services. These royalties are then distributed to both the rights owner of the recording (usually the record label) and the featured artists and musicians.

The Importance of SoundExchange in the Digital Age

In today’s digital age, where streaming and internet radio play dominate, SoundExchange’s role is more critical than ever. Many artists are unaware they are not collecting all of their royalties from digital plays through their distributors. SoundExchange ensures that these artists receive their fair share. It also provides a transparent and efficient royalty collection and distribution system, which is vital in an industry often criticized for its lack of financial clarity.

Signing up with SoundExchange is not just an option; it’s a necessity. It’s a powerful ally in ensuring fair compensation in the digital landscape, where traditional revenue streams are continually evolving.

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