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It is our strict policy that we cannot pay third parties. A third party is considered anyone that is not the featured performer (artist) or the owner of the Sound Recording Copyright.

We have a standard practice to ONLY pay performer money to the following:

The actual featured performers on the track;
Companies wholly owned by the performers (i.e., “holding” or “furnishing” companies);
Legitimate heirs, trusts, and estates of deceased featured performers; or
Performer collecting societies with whom we have an agreement.
Producers/mixers/engineers that have a properly executed Letter of Direction signed by the featured artist.


SoundExchange collects performance revenue for owners of the sound recording copyright and for featured artists. SoundExchange will only collect digital performance royalties for production as a courtesy to the featured artist or sound recording copyright owner. In order to collect royalties through SoundExchange as a producer, a Letter of Direction must be signed by the featured artist. The royalty collection will begin from date of receipt. Letter of Directions are not retroactive unless that is specifically indicated. For more information and to download the relevant resources, visit our Useful Links section of this page.


Usually the owner of the sound recording copyright is a label. If you own the full sound recording, then you are the sound recording copyright owner.


SoundExchange is the sole organization that collects digital performance royalties for sound recordings in the United States. So, one of the main reasons you should register is to collect any and all of these royalties that are due to you. You might already have royalties waiting for you, and even if you don’t, it’s important to get your account set up in advance so that when you do have royalties available, everything is already in place for you to get paid.

SoundExchange pays royalties directly to music creators, offering monthly payments at one of the lowest administrative rates in the music industry (between 4-6%) and paying out most royalties within 45 days of receipt. Even better, you can opt in to monthly direct deposits to ensure that you get the money you deserve each month directly to your bank account—no more waiting around on paper checks.

Best of all? Registering with SoundExchange is free and easy to do using our online registration.


Payment will be issued to the payee so long as there aren’t any holds associated with the account, the account is complete, and once the account reaches the minimum threshold needed for payment.


We collect as far back as 3 years.


Royalty payments by check are distributed quarterly at the ends of the months of March, June, September, and December. If you are payed via direct deposit, we have monthly distributions for accounts that have accrued at least $100. In order to be paid in a quarterly distribution you must have a balance of $10 for direct deposit or $100 for check. Since the distribution process varies in the length of time it may take, we won’t have specific dates available until the actual distribution of payment nears.


Yes. There are some tax differences:

We require a W-8BEN tax form from all non-US registrants. 30% withholding is applied to all non-US payees unless they submit a completed W-8BEN form. If their country is eligible and they provide a tax ID on their W8-BEN form they could be eligible for reduced withholding.

Also, we offer international direct deposit to Canada, United Kingdom, and Eurozone countries (only in local currency.) Direct deposit payments are made monthly for accounts with $100 or more accrued, and quarterly for accounts with at least $10 accrued. Check payments are made quarterly to accounts with a balance of $100 or more.