Information for Webcasters About New 2021 Rates

thumbnail post

As you may know, the 2021 webcasting rates were announced by the Copyright Royalty Board on Friday, June 11:

  • Commercial Webcasters (CW-CRB):
    1. Annual minimum fee: $1,000 per station/channel—Services with 100 (or more) stations/channels: $100,000
    2. $0.0021 per performance (nonsubscription)
    3. $0.0026 per performance (subscription)
  • Noncommercial Webcasters (NCW-CRB):
    1. Annual minimum fee (includes 159,140 ATH per month, per station/channel): $1,000 per station/channel
    2. $0.0021 per performance above monthly 159,140 ATH threshold

These changes are retroactive to transmissions happening on or after January 1, 2021.
When do affected webcasters make retroactive and prospective payments at the new rates?

  • Webcasters should use Licensee Direct to make submissions for May transmissions (due Thursday, July 15), which will still be using the 2020 rates. This would include any additional minimum fees for additional stations/channels added within or prior to May 2021.
  • Beginning Monday, August 2, affected webcasters may log into Licensee Direct to make “true up” payments for the retroactive period (the restatements will be automated, and should be visible and reviewed by webcasters at that time), as well as submit Statements of Account for June 2021 transmissions at the new rates.
    • Affected webcasters submitting for June 2021 transmissions prior to August 2 should log into Licensee Direct again between August 2 and August 16, and make true up submissions at that time.
  • Given the significant changes which have occurred, submissions for the retroactive period received on or prior to Monday, August 16 will not be considered late, and will not have late fees applied to them. (June 2021 transmissions—at the new rates—remain due on or before Monday, August 16.)

Do affected webcasters need to wait until August 2 to find out what they owe in retroactive payments for 2021?

  • No! We encourage all affected webcasters to do the following:
    1. Determine the total amount of year-to-date performances already submitted to SoundExchange. (This can be done by downloading the most recently submitted Statement of Account, which already calculates and displays this year-to-date total. On the Year-To-Date Summary page, select “View Submitted” from the dropdown menu on the Statements of Account button to access previously-submitted Statements of Account.)
    2. Multiply that amount of performances by the applicable new rate (either $0.0021 for nonsubscription or $0.0026 for subscription). This is the amount owed under the new rates, prior to accounting for previously-made payments.
    3. Subtract from this new amount the total amount already paid to SoundExchange, which is displayed near the bottom of the Year-To-Date Summary page. This is the “true up” amount that must be paid by August 16.
    4. Reminder: as our systems will reflect the new rates on August 2, no “self-calculation” will be needed at that point; the actual amounts owed under new rates will already be apparent on this page.
  • If the January through May royalties owed under the new rates were in between $500 and $1,000 (per station/channel), then webcasters would need to pay the difference by August 16. If the January through May royalties owed under the new rates were less than $500 (per station/channel), then webcasters would need to pay an additional $500 (per station/channel) by August 16.

Do Commercial Webcasters have to pay the additional minimum fees (from $500 to $1,000) if their year-to-date payments have already exceeded those minimum fees?

  • No. Minimum fees for Commercial Webcasters are recouped against monthly royalty payments; if those year-to-date payments have exceeded the (new) minimum fee, then this change is purely for accounting purposes; no additional payment for the minimum fee would be required. If the year-to-date royalties were in between $500 and $1,000, then the difference to reach the minimum fee amount of $1,000 would be needed before August 16.

Are Noncommercial Educational Webcasters or webcasters operating under the NPR-CPB Agreement affected by these new rates?

  • No. Those licensees continue to operate under their (existing) rates and terms, which were finalized some time ago.

If you anticipate having difficulties in timely paying for the retroactive period or the new rates beginning with June transmissions, please contact [email protected] as soon as possible.