Jul 01, 2010
Washington – Last month, Executive Director John Simson announced to the SoundExchange Board that he would be leaving the role he’s held for the past ten years in order to return to his creative roots. The Board has requested that he remain in his current position until a successor can be found and Simson said he would he would be pleased to assist in the transition to new leadership.
“After ten years of working with digital services, we’ve achieved many of our important goals. We’ve established fair rates for performers and labels and built the largest performer and recording label society in the world. It is time for me to return to different creative pursuits that I‘ve been putting off these past few years. This has been a thrilling journey, blazing a brand new path, but I know I’m leaving a strong organization poised for continued success.” Simson also informed the Board that the second quarter distribution would be the largest in the organization’s history. “In the past 10 months we’ve distributed over $220 million to artists and labels and this will only continue to grow in the coming months and years.”
“For the last ten years and more, John Simson has been a critically important force for uniting artists, session performers, indie labels and major labels as we worked together for our common good,” said American Federation of Musicians International President Thomas F. Lee. “We are grateful to him for all his pioneering work.”
Simson, the first full-time employee of SoundExchange, was hired to launch the new collecting society in 2000. As a manager in the 1990’s, Simson had assisted in the lobbying to pass the Digital Performance Rights in Sound Recording Act of 1995 and a terrestrial performance right has been a key goal all throughout his career working as an artist manager. “We are hopeful that we will finally get what’s rightfully owed to America’s recording artists and copyright owners,” Simson said, “and I’ve told the Board that I will be there to finish this task whenever required.”
Simson was instrumental in making SoundExchange an independent, free-standing non-profit trade association governed by a Board of 18, an equal number of artist and label representatives. “John and his team have built from nothing, the first true coalition of artists and indies and majors working towards the same goal. The many hurdles they have overcome and the momentum that SoundExchange enjoys are a tribute to his hard work and vision,” said Tom Silverman, founder of Tommy Boy Records and SoundExchange Board member.
About SoundExchange: SoundExchange is the non-profit performance rights organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio, internet radio, cable TV music channels and other services that stream sound recordings. The Copyright Royalty Board, created by Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the only entity in the United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties for featured recording artists and master rights owners. SoundExchange currently represents over 5,500 record labels, over 45,000 featured artists, and has paid out more than $470 million in royalties since its creation in 2003.