Artist & Copyright Owner

SoundExchange represents recording artists and small, medium and large record companies. We collect and distribute royalties for multiplatinum stars and local garage bands, for a cappella and acid rock, bluegrass, symphonies, big bands and everything in between. We maintain more than 155,000 recording artists and rights owner accounts.

The term “featured artist” refers to the group or individual most prominently featured on a sound recording, track or album. “Featured artists” receive direct payments from SoundExchange.

A “non-featured artist” is an artist who is not prominently featured on a sound recording, track or album (i.e. a session musician or a back-up vocalist). Royalties for “non-featured artists” are covered by organizations such as the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and SAG-AFTRA.

A rights owner owns the “master” to recorded artistic content and can be a record label or an artist who owns their own masters.

If you have questions about what type of artist qualifies as “featured” versus “non-featured” or who qualifies as a rights owner on a recording, please contact our Customer Service department.

Royalties are split equally between recording artists and rights owners. To learn more about digital performance royalties, click here.