SoundExchange Pays Out Record-Setting $162M in Q1

SoundExchange, the independent performance rights organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties, today announced its Q1 numbers. In the fiscal first quarter the nonprofit paid $162.4 million to recording artists and labels, its largest Q1 payment to date and a 38% increase over the $117 million paid out last year.

The report also noted that in 2013, SoundExchange payments made up 8.4% of all U.S. recorded revenue which totaled some $7 billion dollars last year. 21% of that $7 billion was generated from streaming revenues of which SoundExchange paid out 41.3%.

SoundExchange has now paid out some $2 billion dollars since its inception ten years ago growing from $3 million in 2003 to $36 million in 2007 to nearly $100 million in 2008 and nearly $600 million in 2013.

Last quarter, in which SoundExchange celebrated its 10th anniversary, the PRO paid out a record $170.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, with an all-time yearly total of $590.4 million, a 28% increase over 2012.

The service collects statutory digital performance royalties from such services as Pandora, SiriusXM and Music Choice, and distributes them to labels and performers. It now counts 2,500 digital radio providers that use the statutory license it administers. After SoundExchange takes its administrative fee — 4.9% in 2012 — 50% of the royalties go to owners of the sound recordings, 45% is paid directly to the performing artist, and 5% goes to non-featured performing artists through a fund administered by AFM and SAG-AFTRA.