SoundExchange Reaches Four Webcaster Agreements

SoundExchange Reaches Four Webcaster Agreements

Artists and Broadcasters Will see “Streaming” Benefits for years to come

WASHINGTON – SoundExchange is pleased and proud to announce the completion of four independent agreements with various types of webcasters—including SIRIUS-XM; College Broadcasters, Inc; and the National Religious Broadcasters Music License Committee—governing the royalty rates of sound recordings through 2015. An additional agreement, signed late Thursday night, will be confirmed publicly in coming weeks. While the rates and terms are specific to each group, the tenor of each agreement is to accommodate the needs of the growing webcasting industry, while still considering the rights of artists and rights owners to be compensated when their recordings are played.

These agreements were negotiated under the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009, which gave SoundExchange the authority to negotiate alternative rates and terms to those set by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in 2007. These modified rate agreements, along with a groundbreaking deal made earlier this month with ‘pureplay’ webcasters, cover music, comedy, spoken word, and other recorded works streamed over the Internet.

“SoundExchange is always looking for creative business solutions, as long as they are also fair to the creators of the music,” said Michael Huppe, General Counsel at SoundExchange. Speaking of the Sirius-XM deal, he explained that “Agreements like this one are an important step forward for the industry, and should enable SiriusXM to grow its webcasting business while appropriately compensating artists and rights holders.”

All four agreements establish rates which will be applicable through 2015, with pre-set annual increases to reflect the rising value of sound recordings. The result is a predictable cost structure which will allow businesses to grow, and ensure revenues to the artists and copyright holders whose recordings are played on streaming services.

Chairman Howard Berman, whose leadership on the House Judiciary subcommittee governing Intellectual Property was instrumental in bringing negotiators together, said of the agreement, “I want to thank all the people who spent long hours in my office working towards a solution that works for artists, webcasters, and most importantly music fans. It was worth every moment to ensure that new technologies recognize that creators should have the opportunity to thrive.”

Final terms and rates for each will be published in the Federal Register.