NEWS FLASH: CRB increases SoundExchange royalty rate by ~8% for 2023

In a Federal Register notice just published today, the Copyright Royalty Board announces cost-of-living increases in the statutory royalties to be paid by webcasters to SoundExchange for the public performance of sound recordings, which represent a ~9% increase for the sound recordings played in ad-supported streams (for services that rely on the statutory license), and a ~7% increase in the higher rate for songs played in subscription-based streams.

These increases are envisioned in the CRB decision for the current five-year period, in which the rates are to be adjusted upwards each year based on a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).  For purposes of Social Security benefits, the federal government is using a COLA of 8.7% in 2023. (Details here.)

Copyright law expert David Oxenford (pictured, left) told RAIN, “These are the royalties paid to SoundExchange by those making noninteractive digital transmissions of sound recordings.  In 2022, commercial webcasters, including broadcasters streaming their programming on the internet, pay $.0022 per performance for a nonsubscription transmission and $.0028 per performance for a subscription transmission.

“The Federal Register publication sets out the computations for the cost of living increase, and announces that the rate for nonsubscription transmissions made in 2023 will be $.0024 per performance, and for a subscription transmission, the rate will be $.0030 per performance.

“For noncommercial webcasters, the 2023 rate will be $0.0024 per performance for all digital audio transmissions in excess of 159,140 ATH in a month on a channel or station.”

Read the full notice here.  (And feel free to comment below.)

Kurt Hanson