SoundExchange Q2 data shows digital radio royalty payments slowly pulling even

soundexchange logo canvasThe latest quarterly data from SoundExchange revealed that non-interactive digital radio services are making progress in matching the royalties from other digital revenue streams. Last year, subscription music services such as Spotify, Rhapsody, and Beats Music posted a growth rate of 57 percent. If that rate holds, then those services will make $987 million this year. That would yield $690 million for rights holders, assuming a 70/30 split of the revenue. In comparison, digital purchases of individual tracks are projected to generate $1.35 billion in revenue this year, while digital album sales are expected to hit $1.1 billion. Those amounts translate to $944 million and $770 million, respectively, for rights holders.

Even though the subscription services are on track to make more money for rights holders, Billboard reported that services such as Pandora, Sirius XM, and iHeartRadio have posted a lower growth rate. That sector’s distributions in the second quarter of 2014 were down from the first quarter of the year, which was lower than the final quarter of 2013. Considering how much money Pandora alone was paying out to SoundExchange in 2013, though, there’s still probably a tidy sum heading toward the independent PRO. The group is certainly on track to pay out more in royalties this year than last, based on the 2014 figures so far.

Anna Washenko