September 21, 2016
Streaming continues to change the music industry and provide more reasons than ever to register with SoundExchange.
The Recording Academy recently acknowledged the growth and importance of streaming when it decided that it will now account for some streamed music when determining GRAMMY winners. The policy change is a result of the increasingly common decision by artists and rights owners to release music exclusively on digital services.
Chance the Rapper became the first recording artist ever to reach the Billboard 200 due solely to streams. He released Coloring Book in May, and it debuted at No. 8. Chance wrote on Twitter that the Recording Academy’s change represents a victory. He isn’t the only artist who stands to benefit from the Academy’s policy change.
The popularity of Drake’s album Views “is still driven largely by the streams of its tracks,” according to Billboard. Views generated 2.1 billion on-demand streams through the week of August 4, according to Nielsen Music.
The Academy’s new guidelines clarify that “streaming-only” includes music on services that are “paid subscription, full catalogue, on-demand/limited download platforms” and have existed for at least one year as of the September 30 submission deadline. Albums or singles released between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016, will be eligible for the 59th annual GRAMMYS, scheduled for February 12, 2017.
Streams from free services won’t count in the Recording Academy’s GRAMMYS math, but the Academy has determined it can no longer overlook the popularity of streaming. Streaming represented 34 percent of music industry revenue in 2015, accounting for the industry’s largest source of revenue last year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
As other artists follow Chance the Rapper’s footsteps and elect to release music exclusively on digital services, streams across all digital services – paid and ad-supported free services – are likely to see a boost because those exclusives will drive people to try new services. That is likely to increase revenue for all music services in the digital ecosystem and makes registering with SoundExchange more important than ever.
We’ve paid more than $4 billion in royalties to date. But you must register with us in order to receive royalties. You can do that here. You can also become a member – registration is different than membership. Membership is free and allows us to collect international royalties on your behalf and get those royalties to you.
At SoundExchange we always knew streaming would emerge as the preferred choice among consumers and represent a critical part of artists’ revenue stream.
SoundExchange distributed $403.4 million in digital performance royalties in the first half of 2016. We distributed 16 percent of the recorded music industry’s wholesale revenue in 2015, which reached $4.95 billion.
Do you want to learn more about digital royalties? Check here.
Haven’t registered? Please check out our Registration and Membership page here.
And don’t forget that becoming a member has a lot of benefits. Check out our member benefits here.