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Who are SoundExchange?

Set up and established at the start of the millennium, SoundExchange is the only authorized entity to collect Neighbouring Rights royalties in the U.S. Below, we uncover more of their history, what they pay for and some of the startling statistics that should motivate you to sign up!

What is SoundExchange?

Designated by U.S congress as the sole collector of digital performance royalties for sound recordings, SoundExchange is the world’s largest CMO (Collective Management Organization), distributing over $1 billion in royalties annually.

It’s important to note early on that SoundExchange only deals with the sound recording (master) for non-interactive digital plays – they do not deal with composition or interactive streams. The composition performance royalty is collected by, the PRO’s such as BMI and ASCAP.

Specifically, they pay for non-interactive use of sound recordings on services such as IHeart Radio, SiriusXM and Pandora, where the listener doesn’t have control over the tracks they listen to. They do not pay for streams on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music or Tidal.

According to the company, royalties are split as follows:

> 50% to the copyright owner
> 45% to the featured artist(s)
> 5% to backup musicians and session players

Registering to SoundExchange is free. The cut they take to cover admin costs is taken at the top level before the royalty split. The nonprofit maintains that they operate with one of the lowest admin budgets in the world – and that’s despite running an international service that collects from over 50 territories overseas.

In fact, those partnerships with global CMOs has enabled more than 270,000 performers and 170,000 rights holders to collect Neighbouring Rights from track plays overseas.

If you’re based in the States, don’t leave money on the table;, get registered to SoundExchange and ensure your royalties find their way to you. The process is simple and can also be filled out in Spanish for those who would prefer. Find a link to the registration form here.

For readers outside of the U.S looking for more information on their CMO and collecting Neighbouring Rights in their region, get in touch with our team of royalty experts today, and send us an email at [email protected].

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