Maximize Your International Royalties with Augmented Metadata

Maximize Your International Royalties with Augmented Metadata

By Danielle Vu

Are you a sound recording owner (SRO) that has given SoundExchange the mandate to collect international royalties on your behalf? If so, we may require additional sound recording metadata in order to register and collect royalties for this repertoire.

Background on Rights Owner International Collections

In the U.S., services that operate under the statutory license can stream any commercially available sound recording they want if they comply with specific reporting and payment requirements. However, the U.S. is unique in this regard. In most other countries, services need to obtain a license via their local collective management organization (CMO) to legally stream a sound recording. CMOs build their databases by having SROs submit their recordings to them, which in turn, allows services to stream recordings from those databases.

Metadata Requirements

SoundExchange will submit a catalog to CMOs for any SRO that has given us a mandate to collect international royalties on its behalf. Most CMOs require more metadata than SoundExchange in order for a sound recording to be added to their repertoire databases. The more complete metadata we have for each of your sound recordings, the more effective we can be at collecting your international royalties.

The data we require includes:

  • Duration
  • Country of Recording/Fixation
  • Copyright Owner Country of Nationality
  • Country/Countries of First Release/Publication
  • Composer
  • Non-U.S. Territories of Collection Rights

These are indicated with a “2” in the header of our ISRC Ingest Form.

This Is a Lot of Data. Why Do CMOs Need This Much Info?

Metadata fields such as “duration” are required because they assist with matching. Other fields are important because they help demonstrate a recording’s eligibility to receive foreign royalties. Specifying where a recording was first released, recorded, or the nationality of the record company creating the recording helps ensure that it earns royalties when it is used in other countries. If you are aware that your repertoire was recorded outside the U.S., please indicate as such on your ISRC Ingest Form. This will assist in maximizing your international collections.

U.S. recordings often do not receive royalties when they are used abroad. These recordings are ineligible for royalties that are otherwise available to recordings produced in the local market. You can learn more here about this discrimination and what SoundExchange is doing to ensure American music creators receive fair payment for their work.

How Do I Submit/Update My Data?

You should use SXDirect–MyCatalog to submit and/or update your metadata. From the homepage, click MyCatalog—>Submit Recordings. Here you will have the option to either submit in bulk or per individual recording. You can find more information on how to submit recordings here.

Submitting the Same Recording in Our Database

SoundExchange uses ISRCs to identify sound recordings in our database. If you submit a recording with the same ISRC as another recording that you previously submitted in our database, then SXDirect will overwrite all previously submitted data for that ISRC with new values (including any empty or “null” values). This means that if you previously uploaded Sound Recording A with all the metadata required for collecting international royalties, then resubmit Sound Recording A (with the same ISRC) and leave certain fields empty, any data resubmitted for Sound Recording A that does not match the original value will be edited. To avoid unintentionally changing the data we have on file for your sound recordings, we recommend that you either provide consistent data with for every submission or only submit new recordings.

Anything Else I Need to Know About International Collections?

To receive international royalties, you need to be a member of SoundExchange and provide us with an international mandate. More info on this can be found here. When you log into SXDirect, you can check which mandates you currently have in place. We do not take fees on the foreign royalties we collect and we generally distribute all foreign income we collect within 45 days of receipt.

More Questions?

Please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-961-2091.