SoundExchange royalty collections reach record numbers in 2015

SoundExchange Q4 2015SoundExchange released its digital radio report for Q4 2015, a publication marking growth for both the quarter and the year. The company’s royalty quarterly distributions increased 16% over the year-ago period to $211.4 million. The three-month period also showed a rise from the year’s third-quarter payments, which totaled $204 million. For all of 2015, the distributions rose 4% on year to a record high of $802.6 million.

The company also released some insights on popular artists for digital radio in the past year, finding Drake in the top spot and Taylor Swift in second. (Since the time frame for the data was October 2014 to September 2015, last year’s power performer Adele did not make the list.) According to SoundExchange’s analysis, artists can reach the top tier of popularity thanks to a combination of fan support and staying power.

The report extended beyond hard numbers and emphasized SoundExchange’s policy positions. It included a line of support for the Fair Play, Fair Pay Act, as well as reiterating its displeasure with the final Copyright Royalty Board ruling.

“At SoundExchange, we believe the CRB’s Web IV rates are too low and fail to reflect the rates that would be established by a fair market, and we are considering all options – including an appeal,” the report reads. “We also will be vocal participants in the process to set rates for satellite radio and pre-existing subscription services.”

Brad Hill


  1. Enjoy that revenue while it lasts SX. You and the CRB have been forcing many independent internet radio stations and networks off the air over the last couple of months. I doubt the revenue increases will be as large and may go down. Greed may end up costing you a nice revenue stream at some point, hurting the music artists you profess to care so much about 😉

  2. Xavier has a good point. Unintended consequences can also be foreseeable consequences. Creating economic models that eliminate distribution channels due to an unsustainable cost structure would often be seen as a constriction of supply which should increase pricing in the face of consistent consumer demand. I suppose the hope in supporting higher rate structures that have led to the shuttering of dozens of small webcasters was based on an assumption that consumers would move to other channels that pay higher royalties. However, there is always a risk that those consumers will simply consume less and reduce the total royalty pie altogether.

  3. I believe there is a completely different market that the smaller stations are a part of. Not everyone wants or needs to listen to the big stations that are paying the increased Royalty amounts. My station here was started as a result of Hurricane ike. When the communications were knocked out due to the storm. It was this tiny community radio station that came though and was able to break through the com barriers and created an avenue for the needed needed aid to our little community. Even if i wanted to have a terrestrial station, it is an impossibility for the little guy to become a part of the broadcast system. As a matter of fact in regard to the FCC regs……. even if one had the financial means to apply for a license it is an impossibility. Those licenses have to be made available for application. They haven’t been in years and there is no projected time for the FCC to make them available.
    At least with the internet we had a way to legally get the word out. Now we cannot even do that. It saddens me that KSBT has gone silent. It saddens me even more that our country can’t see the importance of the smaller stations. They were never a threat to the big guys. They have there place and we had ours. I don’t like where this country has gone the past decade and I certainly don’t like the track we are on now. I won’t even breach the subject of pirate stations that actually can and do threaten the big guys. Something needs to be done. There is strength in numbers. I wish the masses would rise up and let them know the damage their decisions have caused.

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