August 28, 2013
We have recently heard from some recording artists and rights owners who are confused about why they’re receiving reduced royalties from SoundExchange (or not receiving royalties from us at all.)
As it turns out, we’ve learned that some artists and labels have agreed to let digital music services use their recordings royalty-free. Digital music services sometimes approach rights owners and ask for permission to play their recordings without paying for it. When you directly give permission to use your recordings (or in other words, directly license) to a digital music service, make sure you know exactly what you are getting in return. You may be giving away your content for free! If you’re a rights owner who agrees to let a digital music service use your recordings royalty-free, then that service no longer has to pay SoundExchange for the use of your recordings. This means that you’ll no longer receive performance royalties from that digital music service through SoundExchange. It’s entirely your choice. However, as with any agreement, you are encouraged to read carefully and be aware of possible repercussions before signing on the dotted line.