With its December 2017 distribution, SoundExchange passed the $5 billion mark in cumulative digital royalty distributions since the company was founded in 2003.
The company distributes royalties for the digital performance of sound recordings to more than 155,000 recording artists, rights owners, session musicians and background vocalists. Last year it diversified its offerings to include services for the music-publishing community in addition to its core business managing digital sound recording performance royalties.
“Surpassing $5 billion in digital radio distributions marks an important moment for the new music economy. It’s a milestone for the digital music services and, of course, for the artists and rights owners who create the music that makes those services possible,” said president/CEO Michael Huppe (pictured above). “We have been on course to diversify our offerings for several years now. With our entrance into music publisher services through the launch of SXWorks and the acquisition of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency, SoundExchange is poised to become the leading global player administering both sound recording and music publishing rights on a multi-territorial basis.”
However, according to a release, the dual impact of digital radio growth leveling off coupled with direct deals entered into between rights owners and Pandora resulted in a decrease in U.S. sound recording gross distributions made by SoundExchange to $652 million in 2017. The company distributed a record total of $884 million in total royalty distributions in 2016; SoundExchange continues to manage artists distributions of Pandora royalties on behalf of rights owners for the ad-supported tier of the Pandora service.
The company recently extended its reach into music-publisher services with the formation of SXWorks, a subsidiary that provides global administration capabilities to publishers. With the acquisition of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) in May, the SoundExchange companies expanded the scope of rights represented to include the mechanical rights of music publishers in Canada.