Mike Check: Celebrating 10 Years of SoundExchange

Mike Check: Celebrating 10 Years of SoundExchange

** Mike Check features posts from our President & CEO, Michael Huppe **


This is an exciting month for SoundExchange. This year marks a decade since we became an independent organization, and one that helped to create a new revenue stream for recording artists and record labels.

As we celebrate our anniversary, 10 years feels like yesterday to me. But, when you step back to think about it, so much has changed in the last decade. Ten years ago – digital radio was in its nascent stages and radio was mostly just sticks in a field blindly broadcasting to whomever happened to be listening. Today customized streaming and targeted programming is the way of the future for listening to music. People turn to a variety of digital radio sources – including Internet, satellite and mobile or through their cable TV.

Radio today, has new meaning. Consumer mindsets have adopted these new forms of radio and today consuming music is all about the experience, “the listen.”

So, yes – a lot has changed over the past 10 years – and SoundExchange has also experienced many changes and milestones in those 10 years:

    • SoundExchange’s membership has grown from 1,320 artist accounts and 1,870 rights holder accounts in 2003 to almost 120,000 accounts in 2013.
    • In 2003 SX had only distributed $3 million to artists and labels; this year we expect to pay out more than $500 million.
    • By the end of 2013, we expect to reach a new milestone of $2 billion paid!
    • In 2003, we were solely U.S. focused — but today in 2013, we now boast 28 international agreements making it possible for us to maximize foreign royalties on behalf of our members.
    • Internet radio listenership continues to grow and has increased by six fold, in the past decade.
  • With more demand has come more Internet radio services which have doubled in just a few short years. In 2007 there were 855 digital radio services; today there are more than 2,000.

Thanks in part to the work we do – performers are paid for the first time for the benefit they bring to digital radio and labels are expanding their reach, which results in greater profits. I’m pleased with how far we’ve come in these few short years, and look forward to an even brighter future for music lovers and creators alike – and for SoundExchange.