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At SoundExchange, we are deeply committed to making the business of music simple and efficient for creators. We believe in putting intuitive and unintimidating yet powerful and efficient technology at your fingertips, so that creators can get paid fairly and quickly. So, in 2019, SoundExchange was proud to introduce a feature called Overlaps & Disputes to the My Catalog suite within the customer portal, SoundExchange Direct (SXDirect). This game-changing upgrade empowered registrants with the ability to administer their own sound recording copyright owner (SRCO) overlapping claims in a nearly real-time environment. This launch answered a vital need and remains incredibly popular. With Overlaps & Disputes, SRCOs have been able to resolve hundreds of thousands of claims, one recording at a time.

But as the digital creator economy grows and more and more music is streamed digitally, so, too, is SoundExchange committed to continued and rapid innovation. That is why we are pleased to announce a game-changing enhancement to Overlaps & Disputes. Now, rather than addressing such claims one by one, SRCO’s can resolve in bulk! We heard SRCOs’ feedback clearly that a bulk resolution option would be very useful to you, and now it is with great pride that we can provide it.

Background on the Overlapping Claims Process
Before delving further into which actions are available for Bulk Resolution, let’s first review how overlapping claims arise. “Overlaps” occur when multiple SRCOs claim shares of a sound recording that exceed 100% for the same collection period. A sound recording becomes “disputed” when those SRCOs, after being notified of an overlap, maintain their claims that exceed 100%.

The Overlaps & Disputes feature in SXDirect displays an overlap whenever you and another SRCO are claiming the same recording. It then enables both parties to resolve the overlap by confirming or releasing their collection rights for that recording. For more introductory information on this process, please visit our previous blog post here.

What’s Changed?
Overlaps & Disputes initially supported responding to one overlapping claim at a time; with Bulk Resolution you’ll now be able to take the same action on a collection of recordings at once. Whether you’re relinquishing 100 new claims, maintaining your collection rights as the SRCO for all recordings by a certain artist, or accepting the proposed transfer of multiple recordings to your account from another’s, this feature is designed to simplify the process.

In case you need to reference your activity in the future, any bulk actions you take will now appear in the Submission History section of the My Catalog dropdown.

In addition to Bulk Resolution, SoundExchange has launched a new action, as well, called Remove Claim. With Remove Claim, one can withdraw any erroneous new claims made which resulted in “overlaps” as soon as they’re visible in SXDirect. This will be offered both as a single-overlap action and for multiple overlaps through Bulk Resolution.

You’ll also encounter some visual and textual enhancements we’ve made to streamline the user experience in Overlaps & Disputes and to ensure you’re taking the correct action according to your collection rights. These updates should be straightforward, but we always encourage outreach to our team through the “Contact” tab at the top of the page if you have any questions.

Getting Started

Step 1

To start using Bulk Resolution, log in to your SXDirect account. Go to My Catalog > Overlaps & Disputes. If you have overlaps and/or disputes, you will see the screen below. Select the category of information that you would like to view: Recordings in Overlap, Recordings in Dispute, or isolate those overlaps that are Expiring Soon (potentially incurring debits to your account) or where your account’s action is required. Note: you won’t see this menu option if your registrant doesn’t have any active overlaps or disputes.
 
Upon selecting a category, you’ll be directed to the familiar Summary page; however, you’ll notice a new dropdown icon toward the top-right side of the screen: Start Bulk Selection. When you click on the icon, you’ll be prompted to choose the appropriate action: Maintain, Relinquish, Accept/Reject Date Proposals, or Remove Claim. Keep in mind that you can only perform one specific action on a series of recordings through Bulk Resolution at the same time. Thus, you could first select all the tracks for which you wish to maintain your collection rights, and then return to the Summary page to gather the tracks you’d like to relinquish. And don’t worry — on the next screen you’ll be able to refine your list of recordings before submitting your selected bulk action.
  

Step 2

After choosing the Maintain action from the Start Bulk Selection dropdown, you’ll be directed to the Select page, which isolates just those recordings that are eligible to be maintained by your account:

  • Identify the recordings for which you wish to maintain your claim by checking the corresponding box to the left of the Artist field.
  • As you select the desired tracks, they’ll be added to your cart at the top-right of the screen. Click this icon at any point to review the tracks already collected in your cart.
  • You’ll find the same filters on the far-left side of the screen as on the Summary page to narrow down the displayed results.
  • You can select tracks here that are both in Confirm status where your account is the existing claimant and those in Reconfirm status where you are the new claimant and action is required by you.
  • When you’ve gathered all the relevant recordings you want to maintain, click the Review Selections button at the bottom-right corner of the screen to advance.

 
On the Review page, you’ll see a table of those tracks selected during the previous step:

  • The Details icon provides additional information for each overlap within a reference pop-up display that won’t redirect you from this page.
  • Clicking the X on the far-right side of the screen will remove that track from your cart of items to be maintained.
  • The Select Recordings button will take you back to the Select page to identify additional recordings without clearing your current cart.
  • Choosing Cancel at the bottom-left will clear your cart and exit Bulk Resolution.
  • When you’ve reviewed the information listed here and are ready to proceed, hit Submit Selections, and confirm your agreement to the legal notice.

You’ll now be taken to the Submitted page, which confirms that your claims for the selected recordings were successfully maintained, and you’ll proceed to the next step. Here you can choose to download a copy of the submitted tracks in an Excel-compatible file for your records and/or return to the Overlaps & Disputes Summary. This spreadsheet will also be stored in your My Catalog Submission History.

 

Step 3

Now that you’ve successfully maintained your collection rights to specific recordings, let’s return to the Summary page and walk through the necessary steps to relinquish your claims. As before, click the Start Bulk Selection dropdown, and this time choose the Relinquish action:

  • In contrast to maintaining your claims in bulk, after selecting Relinquish, you must first indicate whether you’re doing so for overlaps where you are the existing claimant or the new claimant.
  • The Select page functions the same for relinquishing as for maintaining, displaying eligible overlaps where action is currently required by you that can be added to your cart.
  • The filters still appear on the left side of the screen to refine the data presented.
  • When you’ve gathered all relevant recordings, click the Relinquish Details button at the bottom-right corner of the screen to advance.

The first thing you’ll encounter on the Relinquish page is a question about how you’re withdrawing your rights.
If you’re relinquishing for all time as the existing claimant, signifying that any royalties you may have been credited for these recordings were received in error, answer No, then click Review at the bottom-right corner to follow the identical steps as you did in the process to maintain your claims: first reviewing the designated tracks, and then submitting your selections.

If you’re relinquishing the tracks as of a specific date, indicating you should have received royalties for these recordings within a certain time period, answer Yes to the first question to proceed accordingly:

  • If you should continue to be paid for any airplay occurring within your period of ownership—regardless of when the broadcaster reports the usage to SoundExchange—answer Yes to the second question, and then enter the applicable date parameters.
  • If you’re releasing your collection rights to the new claimants as of a specific date and should not receive any additional royalties for these recordings in the future, even for broadcasts occurring during your period of ownership but which are reported to SoundExchange at a later date, answer No to the second question, and enter the relevant date, or select Today to indicate royalties should be redirected moving forward.
  • The new claimants will review these date proposals and must confirm their agreement before the overlaps are fully resolved.
  • When the information has been entered correctly, click Review at the bottom-right corner to follow the identical steps as you did in the process to maintain your claims in bulk.

 

Step 4

Not only are you now able to maintain and relinquish your overlapping claims in bulk, but we’ve also included a convenient method to assemble all overlaps where the existing claimant has indicated their collection rights for certain recordings should be adjusted to credit your account as of a date in the past or on a purely moving-forward basis, Accept/Reject Date Proposal:

  • From the Summary screen, click the Start Bulk Selection dropdown, and choose whether you wish to Accept or Reject Date Proposals.
  • Whether accepting or rejecting date-specific reassignments, you’ll be taken to a slightly modified version of the Select step that contains an additional field called Proposed Date, which lists the actual date that your ownership period would begin, pending your approval.
  • Select the tracks for which you wish to accept/reject the proposed-date transfer using the familiar checkboxes to the left of the track information.
  • When all appropriate tracks have been checked, click Review Selections at the bottom right corner. Make sure the information is correct on the subsequent Review page, and then choose Submit Selections to verify the legal agreement.

Using the Remove Claim Feature

As mentioned earlier in this post, along with Bulk Resolution, we’ve launched a separate action that’s available to the new claimant before the overlap reaches the Reconfirm status. This intuitive feature is called Remove Claim.

If you’ve ever submitted a claim to a recording that’s already paying another SRCO, thus triggering an overlap, only to realize afterward that you’ve done so in error, then you know that historically, the existing claimant must first take action to “maintain” their own rights before you can relinquish (or remove) your claim. That step alone could take up to 90 days—a long time to wait just to cancel an action you hadn’t intended to take. We identified the need for greater efficiency here, and now, with the Remove Claim option, you’ll no longer need to wait for the existing claimant to take their action in order to withdraw yours. This not only means faster resolutions on overlaps affecting your account, but it also spares other SRCOs from inconvenience.

When you are the new claimant on an overlap that is in Confirm status, action is not normally required by you. However, if you realize you have placed an erroneous claim and want to undo it, select the Details icon on the recording, and you’ll see the Remove Claim option now visible on the subsequent page. Simply select Remove Claim, and verify that you’re withdrawing any rights asserted to collect royalties as the SRCO. Because you’re the new claimant here, removing your claim won’t prompt any debits to your account, and the existing claimant will continue to be credited accordingly.


Likewise, this action will also be available through Bulk Resolution. Click Start Bulk Selection from the Summary page and then choose Remove Claim. You’ll be taken to the similar screen as through Maintain and Relinquish, where you can gather the relevant recordings for which you wish to revoke any claims submitted by mistake.

Other Enhancements

SoundExchange improvements to this suite of tools and services, doesn’t stop there. Within the new Overlaps & Disputes feature, you’ll find numerous improvements and supplementary enhancements, such as:

  • Additional filters on the Summary screen to identify overlapping claims between more than two parties and where the existing claimant has proposed a transfer of collection rights to your account as of a certain date, pending your approval.
  • The NEW Submission History section of My Catalog that not only contains your past repertoire submissions but also any activity through Bulk Resolution captured in a distinct Excel-compatible file.
  • An improved visual experience, featuring streamlined graphics and colors on nearly every page that are easier on the eyes, especially when reviewing a large volume of overlaps.
  • Clearer and more concise descriptions to improve accuracy and minimize chance for error when processing overlapping claims.

We hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions, please use the Contact tab in SXDirect, and select RO Overlaps & Disputes from the Topic dropdown, or call our Support team at 800-961-2091.


SXDirect accounts are only available for SRCOs and Artists registered with SoundExchange. To register with SoundExchange, please visit: register.soundexchange.com.

 


We’re excited to announce that we’ve made recent updates to SoundExchange Direct (SXDirect) to create an improved experience for artist and rights owner accounts. These enhanced features will increase transparency into your account’s membership, mandate, and Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) Authorization status, while also providing you with self-service tools to make managing and updating your account even easier.
 

Membership Status

We’ve added a “Membership Status” column to the home screen, which will indicate if the performer(s) or sound recording owner(s) (SROs) associated to your registrant are SoundExchange members or not.

Click on this status to access the “Membership Summary” page. Here, you’ll be able to see a summary of all performer(s) and/or SRO(s) currently connected to your registrant, as well as their current membership, mandate, and Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) Authorization status. You will also be able to add and remove performer(s) associated to your registrant should you identify the need to do so, all in self-service!

We encourage you to use this section to ensure that the correct performer(s) are associated to your registrant and that their membership and mandate information is up-to-date and accurate. Once you feel that your performer is accurate and complete, please check that box on-screen to let us know.
 

Add a New Performer

Every registrant who receives featured artist royalties should have the performer(s) for whom they receive payment associated to their account. If you notice that a performer is missing from your account, you can correct this by adding the performer via our new self-service experience.
It is important to remember that once a performer is connected to a registrant, it indicates that the performer owns, or co-owns, the registrant and that the performer will receive royalties and be paid through the registrant’s account. Note: if the registrant is a company, we’ll only pay Featured Artist royalties to the company if it is wholly owned by the performer(s).
To add a new performer, start by clicking “Add a new Performer” on the bottom of the “Membership Summary” section.

On the first page, provide the required information, including a copy of a government-issued photo identification, for the performer.

Once you complete the steps on the first page, you’ll then be able to enroll the performer as a SoundExchange member and grant SoundExchange an international mandate to collect royalties outside of the U.S. for the performer. Please note that membership is required to grant an international mandate.

Please review all of the information you have provided before submitting your request.
Following your submission, you will be brought to a completion page that will notify you that your submission is complete and pending processing. But you’re not done just yet!
If you are the performer’s representative, please download and submit a Primary Contact Account Authorization Form. The form is pre-populated with the necessary data about the account, you as the primary contact, and the performer. All we need from you is to secure the performer’s signature. There is no submission deadline, but we recommend completing and submitting the form within 15 to 30 days to prevent potential problems down the road during account updates and letters of direction (LODs) submissions.
We also encourage you to download a copy of the performer’s membership and mandate agreements for your records. We’ll keep a copy of them, and you can view their status in the “Membership Summary,” but this is your last chance to download your own copies.

The signed and completed Account Authorization Form can be submitted using the SoundExchange Direct “Contact Us” page. To submit, complete the following steps:

  1. Choose the topic “Upload A Document”
  2. Select the name of your “SoundExchange Registrant” the document is associated with
  3. From the “Document Type” dropdown menu, select “Contact Authorization Form”
  4. Upload the signed Account Authorization Form to “Documents”
  5. Submit the form

 

Remove a Performer

If you notice a performer that should not be associated with, or directing payments to, your account you can now correct this by removing the performer in the new self-service experience.
To remove a performer, go to the “Membership Summary” page and click on the “Remove Performer” link in-line with the performer you would like to remove from your registrant account.
Once you’re on the “Remove Performer” page, you’ll be prompted with two questions about the performer’s relationship with the recordings paying to your account.

  1. Is this performer a featured artist performer on the recordings connected to your registrant?
  2. Should your registrant have ever received any royalties for this featured artist performer?

Your answers will help us determine the appropriate adjustment we need to make when removing the performer from your account. Once you’ve answered those questions, click the “Submit” button to request the removal of this performer. Please note that it could take SoundExchange up to 45–90 days to remove a performer from a registrant’s account.
 

Membership & Mandate

Not yet a SoundExchange member? One of the many benefits of membership is that SoundExchange offers international royalty collection services to our members who provide us with their international mandate. This is a two-step process, which requires you to submit a membership agreement first, then grant SoundExchange an international mandate.

Now, you can sign a Membership Agreement and International Mandate in SoundExchange Direct. Just click on “Enroll” or “Update” next to the performer or SRO entity you wish to update and follow the on-screen prompts – all directly in the portal!
 

AHRA

In many countries, artists and labels are entitled to receive royalties as compensation for the private “home taping” uses of their recordings. In the United States, the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) applies to certain blank digital media, such as music branded CD-Rs. The manufacturers of home recording equipment and sound carriers (tapes, discs, etc.) pay into a fund that is then distributed to artists and labels based on claims. SoundExchange is now offering optional Private Copy (PC) services to Artists and Rights Owners. Providing an AHRA Authorization enables SoundExchange to claim US Private Copy royalties on their behalf.
To enroll, locate the AHRA Authorization column on the Membership Summary page. Click on the link to ‘Enroll’ the applicable Performer or Rights Owner.

Opt in by selecting “Yes” and digitally sign. Click “Submit.”

Following your submission you’ll be taken to a confirmation page. We encourage you to download a copy of the AHRA Authorization for your records. We’ll keep a copy of this agreement and you can view your enrollment status in the “Membership Summary,” but this is your last chance to download your own copy.

If you have questions or would like more information about any of these updates, please contact our Customer Services team via “Contact Us” in SXDirect or at 1-800-961-2091.


SoundExchange understands that the music business is complex, especially for creators trying to get paid for their work. That is why late last year, SoundExchange released an artist-specific update to the My Catalog Search & Claim (S&C) feature within SoundExchange Direct (SXDirect).

The update allows artists to search our database and make performer-based claims on recordings that should be associated to their accounts. The S&C experience for rights owner (RO) registrants has been the same since its original release in 2019. Now, we are pleased to announce a significant upgrade to the RO S&C experience: enhanced RO claiming.

This upgrade to the RO claiming tool enables you to identify your recordings in our system and associate them to your account in a more accurate and efficient way—which gets you paid faster—but also helps us collectively improve some of the metadata issues that exist in our industry.
Before we dive in, there are two types of royalty items (RIs) that you can claim and will see referenced in S&C as well as throughout this blog.

  • Repertoire: These entries are authoritative metadata for recordings provided by ROs to SoundExchange.
  • Broadcast: These entries are non-authoritative usage metadata that SoundExchange has received directly from licensees (e.g., Pandora, iHeartRadio, etc.) that have not yet been matched to repertoire.

About Enhanced RO Claiming

You may be thinking, “Wait, I already submit my recordings via the Submit Recordings tool. Why should I use S&C?” While we encourage all ROs to still regularly do this, the new enhancement to S&C requires ROs to identify, or provide, one of their repertoire RIs for each broadcast RI they intend to claim. This will consolidate the data for your catalog at SoundExchange which means more accurate claim information based on the repertoire you own and faster processing of your claims on our end.

Pre-step: Create a New RO (*skip to Step 1 if your registrant already has an RO entity)

With this S&C release, an RO entity is required to make RO claims. One of the many great features of this update is the ability to create an RO entity for registrants who have not been set up to claim as an RO. This process is fully automated, meaning once you complete the simple steps on-screen, it will immediately allow you to proceed to make your RO claims via S&C. Please only create an RO entity for your registrant if you own sound recordings.

You will first indicate whether your new RO entity is an individual (e.g. an artist who owns their own masters) or a company (e.g. a traditional record label).

Next, the wizard will offer you the options of becoming a member, as well as receiving international collection through SoundExchange by completing the mandate agreement. Both of these agreements are optional.

Tip: To make the most of your SoundExchange experience, you may want to consider becoming a member with an all territories, worldwide mandate.


Once you click “Submit New RO,” the system will ask you to review and acknowledge the legal agreement. Then, the below confirmation page will appear, and you’ll select “Continue to Search & Claim” to make your RO claims. Note: Your new RO entity will not be created unless you proceed to the end of S&C and submit at least one RI claim.

Step 1: Search for Recordings

This step is where you’ll search for recordings and check the box next to the results that you want to add to your cart. We encourage you to do multiple searches and add all claims to your cart before moving on to the next step.
For your convenience, search results in this section exclude all recordings currently associated to your account. Therefore, if you find recordings here that should be associated to your account, you should add them all to your cart before submitting. Please note that the presence of a recording here does not guarantee that there are royalties reported for it.

Tip: On the left-hand side, you’ll see a “refine” field with the options of “repertoire” and “broadcast.” You can use this to filter the search results by the type of RIs you’d like to claim.

Step 2: Claim

Once you’ve added all recordings you wish to claim, you’ll move on to the next step. All RO claims require you to indicate the percentage of the royalties to which you are entitled for the recording, as well as the start and end dates of your collection rights. Please provide this information in-line or use the “Bulk Claim” tool (shown below) to apply the same claim to all recordings by selecting “Apply to All.” Once you’ve provided this information, click “Check Claims” to proceed to the next step.
Note: When you click on “Check Claims,” depending on the disposition of the RIs in your cart, you will either be taken to Step 3: “Analysis” or Step 5: “Review & Submit.”

Step 3: Analysis

You will see this step if certain RIs in your cart require additional information to make your claim. Depending on what you’re claiming, you will see your claims broken out into two separate sections: one section for broadcast RIs that require additional information and another section for repertoire RIs which are ready to submit as-is. At this point you can choose to either:

  1. Provide the additional information for the broadcast RIs indicated, and then eventually claim your entire cart (which will advance you to Step 4: “Provide Additional Information”).
  2. Ignore the broadcast RIs, for now, and proceed claiming only the RIs that are “ready to submit” (which will advance you to Step 5: “Review and Submit”).

Step 4: Provide Additional Information

This step is where you will be able to identify your repertoire RIs that each broadcast RI you intend to claim matches to. Note: On this step, you will not see the RIs from Step 3 that were “Ready to Submit,” however, they will be included when you advance to Step 5 to review & submit your claims.
When claiming broadcast recordings, you’ll be required to match them to a repertoire RI using one of three methods:

  • Match to an RI that is already in your “Associated Recordings”
  • Match by providing a new recording to the repertoire database
  • Match to an RI that is in your current session’s RO claim cart

For example, Jerry Jean has created an RO claim cart in which a broadcast RI is being claimed. Since broadcast data is not authoritative, we will now require Jerry to identify (“match”) this broadcast RI to one of the repertoire RIs he owns. When this additional information is required, S&C offers the following options to the RO to identify a match:

  • Associated Recording: You’ll select a recording from your RO “Associated Recordings” section as a match for this claim. The broadcast data will be matched to a previously submitted repertoire RI.
  • New Recording: You’ll submit a new recording to the repertoire database as a match for this claim—this is a new repertoire submission that you are matching to the broadcast data.
  • Cart Recording: You’ll match the broadcast RI to a repertoire RI that is currently in your RO claim cart.

Here’s what these options look like:

Tip: It is critically important for the accuracy of your claims, our ability to process them quickly, and the larger industry metadata ecosystem that ROs provide the best matches possible.

When using the “Submit Recordings” feature in SXDirect, your submission creates a repertoire RI in our database and automatically associates it to your RO registrant. Therefore, ROs who regularly submit their comprehensive repertoire to SoundExchange should be able to use the “Match to Associated Recordings” option to claim any broadcast RIs to which they are entitled. If you are unable to locate a matching repertoire RI in your “Associated Recordings” or in the current session’s claim cart, then you’ll need to provide a new recording to match that claim using the individual “Submit Recording” form built into the S&C wizard.
Once you have provided repertoire matches to all the broadcast RIs you intend to claim, please proceed to the next step to review and submit your claims.

Step 5: Review & Submit

This is the final step before submitting your claims. On this screen, you’ll see all the broadcast and repertoire RIs you intend to claim in this session. Please review the percentages, ownership date ranges, and matches you provided for accuracy. If you find something is inaccurate and needs to be corrected, please navigate back through the S&C wizard to the appropriate step to edit that information. If everything looks correct and you are ready to make your claims, then click on “Submit Claims.”

Tip: A column called “Match” will be present if you provided additional recording information in a previous step. When the “Match” column is present, you can click the “Show” button to review the match you provided. If a value of “N/A” appears next to a recording, then that particular claim did not require additional information.

Once you’ve submitted all your claims you’ll be returned to the main S&C page. A copy of your claims will appear in your My Catalog: Upload History.
Meanwhile, our enhancements continue behind the scenes to automatically review and process your new RO entity, RI claims, newly submitted repertoire, and repertoire matches. As mentioned earlier, these upgrades are designed to streamline a complex process, make it easier for you to manage your catalog, and get you paid quickly and efficiently. By providing this additional information, you are submitting a cleaner, more accurate claims which enables them to be processed even faster. Additionally, the matches and repertoire you provide in your claims will enhance our repertoire database to support a future of more accurate data in the music industry.
If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Care team at 1 (800) 961-2091 or via “Contact Us” in SXDirect.


Primary Contact
In SoundExchange Direct (SX Direct), every account has a primary contact associated with it. This corresponds to the primary email on file. Think of this as the person who manages, maintains, and administers the account on an everyday basis. This individual is also the one who receives all statements and email communications from SoundExchange. The primary contact does not have to be the artist or rights owner the account is registered to—it could be a financial advisor, business manager, or anyone the registrant deems fit for the role.
Once you’re assigned as a primary contact to an account, you have the ability to update, modify, or submit a new primary contact for any of your associated registrants. You also have the ability to control who else has access to the account through the guest access feature.

Guest Access
The guest access feature allows you to add up to 50 guest users to an account, with the option to remove them at any time. You can grant guest users one of two different permission levels: “view only” or “view with repertoire.” The “view only” access level allows guest users to view limited information, including membership details and payment history, but they cannot see sensitive data such as social security number or tax ID, and they cannot make changes to the account. The “view with repertoire” access level affords guest users all capabilities available at the “view only” level, as well as the ability to see all recordings associated with an account and to submit claims on behalf of an account.

Previously, to add a guest to an account within SX Direct, you were required to download, complete, and then upload a guest authorization form. However, we’ve made updates to simplify and streamline this feature so that you can now complete this process entirely within SX Direct. Follow the steps below to add a guest to an account:

Manage Guest Users page in SX Direct

Previously, to add a guest to an account within SX Direct, you were required to download, complete, and then upload a guest authorization form. However, we’ve made updates to simplify and streamline this feature so that you can now complete this process entirely within SX Direct. Follow the steps below to add a guest to an account:

  • Within SX Direct, click on the “Settings” tab at the top of the page
  • Click on the “Guest List” link to the right of the registrant’s name you would like to add a guest to
  • On the subsequent page, click the “Add Guest” button
  • Enter the name, email address, and account permission level (“view only” or “view with repertoire”) for the individual you would like to add as a guest
Add Guest User page in SX Direct


After completing the steps above, the guest user you’ve requested access for will receive an email notifying them that they’ve been added as a guest to the account. If the individual already has an SX Direct profile, they’ll automatically be added to the account, which will be reflected in the system within minutes. If they do not have an existing SX Direct profile, their notification email will include a link and instructions on how to join SX Direct; after doing so, they’ll be added to the account.

To remove a guest user, follow the same steps as above, but instead click the “Remove Guest” button within the guest list.

For any questions on primary or guest access features, please contact our Support team at 1-800-961-2091 or 202-803-8231 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, or via “Contact Us” in SX Direct.


October 26, 2020

In November 2019, we released a host of new features to the My Catalog section of SoundExchange Direct (SXDirect), including “Search & Claim” (“S&C”). This feature provided sound recording owners (SROs) and artist registrants with the capability to search our database and make claims on recordings that should be associated to their accounts. Immediately, this feature proved to be immensely popular with our customers, with over one million recordings claimed to-date!

Until now, all your artist claims submitted via “S&C” were registrant-based and required manual processing by SoundExchange. While this certainly “gets the job done,” SoundExchange is always looking for ways to do more to help our customers get their recording claims into our systems with increased accuracy and efficiency. So, we’re happy to announce a significant upgrade to the “S&C” experience for our artist registrants: performer-based artist claiming.


About Performer-Based Artist Claiming

Moving forward, artist claims made using “S&C” will be performer-based. This means that when you claim a recording, you will have the capability to provide the shares for the performer(s) connected to your registrant. You’ll also be able to provide claims using varying percentages or different combinations of your registrant’s performer(s) within the same claiming session. This is a more precise way to make claims that accurately reflect the contribution to a recording made by your performer(s) and to ensure they receive their appropriate share for it. This granular claiming model will not only provide you with a better way to make claims, it will also enable us to process your claims much faster! Read on for a step-by-step guide on this updated functionality.

Step 1: Review Performer(s)

The first step of this process is to review the performer(s) that is currently associated to your registrant account. The performer(s) listed here will be the performer(s) made available to you in future steps when you construct your claims. If everything is accurate, then you’ll proceed to the next step.

If you notice a performer is missing or a performer who should not be associated to your registrant, you can add or remove performer(s) during this step. Any added performer(s) will be available in later steps to use when claiming. For a more detailed explanation of adding and removing performers, please see our blog post, “My Catalog Update: Membership Summary.”

Permissions note: The primary contact on-file who administers the registrant’s account is the only contact who is authorized to add or remove performers or make artist claims on their behalf. If the primary contact has checked the “accurate and complete” check box, this will enable account guests with repertoire permissions to also use this claiming tool on the registrant’s behalf.


Step 2: Search for Recordings

This next step is where you’ll search for recordings within our database and add the ones you want to your cart. It’s important to do a thorough search and add all the recordings you intend to claim to your cart before moving on to the next step. Please note, for your convenience, these search results exclude all recordings that are currently associated to your account. Therefore, if you find any recordings in the search that should be associated to your account, you should add them all to your cart before continuing.

This is how search results will populate on the page. Click the check box next to each recording you’d like to add to your cart.


Step 3: Organize Your Claims

After adding recordings to your cart, the next step is to organize your claimed recordings into groups (aka, lineups). You should make a new lineup recording group any time your performer share information will be different, or the combination of your performers on the recordings will change. For your convenience, you can rename lineups to help organize your claims.

Use the dropdown menu next to the song title to apply each recording to a lineup. If your performers’ percentages are the same for all the recordings in your cart, you can simply apply them all to “Lineup 1” and proceed to the next step. However, you should create a new lineup for each group of recordings where your performers’ percentages are different.

For example:

  • Registrant A has two performers and plans to claim four recordings, but the performer shares are different from recording to recording. In this example, three recordings are a 50/50 percentage spilt and one recording is a 75/25 percentage split.
  • Assign the three 50/50 recordings to Lineup #1
  • Add Lineup #2
  • Assign the one 75/25 recordings to Lineup #2

Please note, every recording on this page must be assigned to a lineup before moving on to the next step.


Step 4: Make Your Claims

Here, you’ll provide the individual performer share information for each lineup you created. The performer shares provided here should reflect the individual performer’s contribution to the recordings in that lineup. The shares you provided will add up to the “total payment percentage” (TPP) that your registrant will be paid for those recordings.

Note: Your registrant’s TPP should be less than 100 percent if there are other performers, who may be registering separately, entitled to shares on these recordings. If your TPP is 100 percent on these recordings, then when the other performers register and make their claims, it will trigger an artist dispute. However, if you leave room for their shares, then it will likely not trigger an artist dispute case.

The “Artist Name” field is an additional piece of information we require so that we can process your claims faster. Please select or provide the best artist name for the recordings in each lineup. You can select the appropriate artist name from the dropdown menu (populated with artist names already associated with your performer) or provide a new one that is a more appropriate match to the recordings. Once you’ve reviewed and checked off that all your lineups and shares are accurate and true, you’ll move on to the final step.


Step 5: Submit

This is where you’ll do a final review of your claim information for accuracy before submitting. If you need to change a detail, you can navigate back to the appropriate step to make your correction. Otherwise, you can click “Submit Claims” then review and acknowledge the legal agreement as a final confirmation that your claims are accurate and true. Note: once you’ve completed this step, you will not be able to edit your claims.

Once you’ve submitted your claims, you will be taken back to the beginning of the claiming process. You can see a record of the claims you’ve just submitted by selecting “Upload History” under the “My Catalog” dropdown menu. Once we have processed your claim, you should see the recordings you claimed in your “Associated Recordings” section.

These additional steps in the artist claiming process enables us to quickly verify the information, identify the recordings in our system, and associate them to your account—all of which gets your registrant paid faster!

If you have any further questions, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-961-2091 or via “Contact Us” in SXDirect.


You may have noticed some things that were a bit different the last time you logged in to your SoundExchange Direct account. That’s because we’ve added a new feature to improve your user experience. Meet the usage indicator.

The feature, which has been added to the “Overlaps & Disputes” and “Search & Claim” sections of My Catalog, is designed to not only provide you with more transparency into how your recordings are being used but also offer a new way to prioritize your claims.

About Usage

So, what exactly do we mean by “usage”? Usage indicates whether or not a licensee has reported performances of a recording to us during our current adjustment period (which typically spans the last three years). If we’ve received reported performances during that time frame, then we’ve received royalties for it.
Read on for more about how you can use this feature in Overlaps & Disputes and Search & Claim.

My Catalog: Overlaps & Disputes

Usage indicators in Overlaps & Disputes

What’s Changed: In the Overlaps & Disputes section, you’ll now see a “Usage” column, as well as a symbol that indicates a usage level for each recording: “None,” “Very Low,” “Low,” “Medium,” “High,” “Very High,” or “Unavailable.” The usage meter directly correlates to the amount of royalties that SoundExchange has received for a recording over time.

For example, if a recording has “very low” reported usage, then SoundExchange has received a small amount of royalties for it. On the other hand, if a recording has “very high” reported usage, then we have received a large amount of royalties for it.

What This Means for You: You’ll now have a new way to prioritize the management and review of your overlaps and disputes, particularly during periods of high volume. Used in conjunction with the review deadline countdown, usage will enable you to focus on the recordings that could have a greater financial impact on your account. Additionally, you’ll have more visibility into the various usage ranges for your recordings, which means you’ll be able to better discern which overlaps and disputes might involve larger adjustments.

My Catalog: Search & Claim

Usage indicators in Search & Claim

What’s Changed: In the Search & Claim section, you’ll now see a “Usage” column within your search results. This column will show one of three statuses: “Yes,” “No,” or “Unavailable.” The “Yes” and “No” statuses indicate whether or not there have been performances reported for the recording. “Unavailable” indicates that our system cannot determine usage, at that time, due to processing.

What This Means for You: Having visibility into usage will help you understand if the tracks you are claiming have had reported performances—and therefore whether there may be potential royalties for you to collect from your claims.

We hope that the increased transparency of this feature will be useful to you in prioritizing your overlaps and making new claims!


By Danielle Vu

Are you a sound recording owner (SRO) that has given SoundExchange the mandate to collect international royalties on your behalf? If so, we may require additional sound recording metadata in order to register and collect royalties for this repertoire.

Background on Rights Owner International Collections

In the U.S., services that operate under the statutory license can stream any commercially available sound recording they want if they comply with specific reporting and payment requirements. However, the U.S. is unique in this regard. In most other countries, services need to obtain a license via their local collective management organization (CMO) to legally stream a sound recording. CMOs build their databases by having SROs submit their recordings to them, which in turn, allows services to stream recordings from those databases.

Metadata Requirements

SoundExchange will submit a catalog to CMOs for any SRO that has given us a mandate to collect international royalties on its behalf. Most CMOs require more metadata than SoundExchange in order for a sound recording to be added to their repertoire databases. The more complete metadata we have for each of your sound recordings, the more effective we can be at collecting your international royalties.

The data we require includes:

  • Duration
  • Country of Recording/Fixation
  • Copyright Owner Country of Nationality
  • Country/Countries of First Release/Publication
  • Composer
  • Non-U.S. Territories of Collection Rights

These are indicated with a “2” in the header of our ISRC Ingest Form.
Table of required data fields for international collections

This Is a Lot of Data. Why Do CMOs Need This Much Info?

Metadata fields such as “duration” are required because they assist with matching. Other fields are important because they help demonstrate a recording’s eligibility to receive foreign royalties. Specifying where a recording was first released, recorded, or the nationality of the record company creating the recording helps ensure that it earns royalties when it is used in other countries. If you are aware that your repertoire was recorded outside the U.S., please indicate as such on your ISRC Ingest Form. This will assist in maximizing your international collections.

U.S. recordings often do not receive royalties when they are used abroad. These recordings are ineligible for royalties that are otherwise available to recordings produced in the local market. You can learn more here about this discrimination and what SoundExchange is doing to ensure American music creators receive fair payment for their work.

How Do I Submit/Update My Data?

You should use SXDirect–MyCatalog to submit and/or update your metadata. From the homepage, click MyCatalog—>Submit Recordings. Here you will have the option to either submit in bulk or per individual recording. You can find more information on how to submit recordings here.

Submitting the Same Recording in Our Database

SoundExchange uses ISRCs to identify sound recordings in our database. If you submit a recording with the same ISRC as another recording that you previously submitted in our database, then SXDirect will overwrite all previously submitted data for that ISRC with new values (including any empty or “null” values). This means that if you previously uploaded Sound Recording A with all the metadata required for collecting international royalties, then resubmit Sound Recording A (with the same ISRC) and leave certain fields empty, any data resubmitted for Sound Recording A that does not match the original value will be edited. To avoid unintentionally changing the data we have on file for your sound recordings, we recommend that you either provide consistent data with for every submission or only submit new recordings.

Anything Else I Need to Know About International Collections?

To receive international royalties, you need to be a member of SoundExchange and provide us with an international mandate. More info on this can be found here. When you log into SXDirect, you can check which mandates you currently have in place.

More Questions?
Please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-961-2091.


As COVID-19 continues to impact the music industry, we are committed to making sure you receive your royalties as quickly as possible. As a part of these efforts, we’re encouraging registrants to take advantage of our direct deposit payment option to receive royalty payments in a timelier manner. You can update your payment method preferences in your SoundExchange Direct (SX Direct) account.

So, why switch to direct deposit? The direct deposit option makes you eligible for monthly payments (assuming you meet the $100 balance threshold) instead of quarterly payments for checks, and it allows for faster receipt of your royalties during quarterly payments as money is deposited directly into your bank account. This payment method is completely electronic, making it especially useful during times like this where you may have issues retrieving your physical mail or visiting a bank.

What Do I Need to Do?

First, log in to your SX Direct account. Go to “edit information” and then select “update bank information.” Here, you will enter your routing number, account number, and upload an image of a voided check. Please note, the name must be printed on the check and exactly match the name (it can be company name) on your SoundExchange account.

After you’ve done this, your request will be sent to our Customer Service team, who will process and verify your account information. Please note, if you choose to opt in to direct deposit, we will process your submission as quickly as possible. Processing time is usually 30–45 days, volume permitting.
How Our Payments Work

  • Royalties are distributed monthly by direct deposit and quarterly, at the end of March, June, September, and December by check.
  • Direct deposits are issued monthly for accounts with a balance of $100 or more, and quarterly for accounts with a balance of $10 or more.
  • Quarterly checks are only issued when the royalties payable to you reach $100 or more. If your royalties due are less than $100, we hold them until they reach the threshold, at which time we will issue a payment.

The above information pertains to direct deposits to U.S. checking accounts. We also offer international direct deposit to Canada, UK, and Eurozone in local currency. Please contact customer service by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1-800-961-2091 (U.S.) or 202-803-8231 (international) for any questions or to learn more about direct deposit options.


SoundExchange is making it easier for licensees to update the information they provide on their annual minimum fee forms. Licensees can now make online changes to those forms.  Prior to this new feature, Licensees needed to submit a paper form to make changes (such as changes to their URL or the number of stations/channels).  New licensees and existing licensees that launch new channels/stations during the year will benefit from this feature.

Every year, streaming services must pay a minimum fee in order to use the statutory license available for the public performance of sound recordings via non-interactive streaming. This minimum fee must be submitted by January 31 of the calendar year for which the usage of sound recordings occurs.

A licensee’s minimum fee is determined by the information they submit, via the minimum fee form, about their service and includes the number of stations, the URL(s), and the streaming start date for each station.

Licensees can now update their minimum fee information via LD by following these steps:

  1. Logging in to Licensee Direct
  2. Navigating to “Manage Your Accounts”
  3. Selecting the applicable service and year
  4. Selecting “View/Edit Current” under the “Minimum Fee” dropdown menu

After selecting “View/Edit Current” you will be able to update your webcaster information, provide a list of stations/channels, and view your corresponding annual minimum fee.

Services must submit their Minimum Fee form before the January 31. If a webcaster wants to start a new service for 2020 after January 31, 2020, then its minimum fee form is due 45 days after the end of the month in which it starts (i.e. the same date as that month’s payment and SOA).

If you are a licensee that has already submitted your 2020 minimum fee form and you don’t need to make any updates, then no action is necessary. If you have not yet submitted your 2020 form, please be sure to submit via your LD account as soon as possible.

If you have any question, you may also email [email protected] or call 202-559-0555 if you need further assistance.


Are you a sound recording rights owner (SRCO) that has experienced your royalties being held due to an overlap or dispute with another SRCO over the ownership of a sound recording? Our new Overlaps & Disputes tool provides you with a way to resolve these disputes in real-time.

Overlaps occur when multiple SRCOs claim shares of a sound recording that exceed 100% for the same collection period. A sound recording becomes “disputed” when those SRCOs, after being notified of an overlap, maintain their claims that exceed 100%.

The Overlaps & Disputes feature in the SoundExchange Direct (SXDirect) client portal automatically notifies you if you and another SRCO are claiming the same sound recording. Upon notification of the overlap, it then allows you to either confirm or release your claim. This feature, added to SXDirect as part of a significant update to the My Catalog tool suite, reduces the time it takes to achieve a resolution, meaning your royalties can get to you faster.

What to Expect

As overlapping claims are identified within our system, they will be automatically added to the Overlaps & Disputes section of SXDirect for you and the overlapping party to resolve. SXDirect users (SRCOs only) will also receive a weekly email summary of their overlap and dispute activity with links to review and act when necessary. Both SXDirect and the weekly emails will provide the status and type of all ongoing overlaps and disputes.

Once a sound recording is identified as having overlapping claims, there will be a 90-day window for the current rights owner to maintain or relinquish their claim to collect royalties for that sound recording. If the current SRCO does not act in this 90-day period, they will automatically relinquish their claim in favor of the new claimant SRCO. This 90-day period is initiated when the first SXDirect email is sent to the current rights owner.

Getting Started

Follow these steps to begin using Overlaps & Disputes:

Step 1

Log in to your SXDirect account. Go to My Catalog > Overlaps & Disputes. If you have overlaps and/or disputes, you will see the screen below. Select the category of information that you would like to view: Recordings in Overlap, Recordings in Disputes, or isolate those overlaps that are Expiring Soon (potentially incurring debits to your account) or where your account’s action is required. Note: you will not see this menu option if your registrant has no active overlaps or disputes.

Once you select a category, a summary screen appears with the status each of sound recording within that grouping (shown below) and provides an indication of the corresponding value in the Usage column. There are three different overlap statuses:

  • Confirm – The overlap has been sent to the existing SRCO claimant for action. The existing SRCO claimant is the one that submitted the original claim for a given sound recording. The only action available for a new claimant on overlaps with this status is to Remove Claim.
  • Reconfirm – If the existing SRCO claimant has confirmed their share for a given sound recording, the overlap is sent to the new claimant for action. Overlaps that have a status of “Reconfirm” are awaiting action by the new claimant. There is no action for the existing claimant.
  • Dispute – The existing and new claimants both maintained overlapping claims to a sound recording. The sound recording is now in “dispute”, and future royalties will be placed on hold until an agreement is reached among parties.

The Summary page contains various filters on the left side of the screen through which you can refine the data displayed, such as:

  • Your Response – Isolate those overlaps where your action is required or that are approaching the response timer expiration date.
  • Claimant Type – Select overlaps where you are the existing or new claimant.
  • Overlap Status – Show overlaps based on whether they are in Confirm, Reconfirm, or Dispute status.
  • Estimated Usage – Filter overlaps based upon the estimated value of the tracks from None to Very High.
  • Artist – Display all active overlaps for certain artists.
  • Claimant – Show overlaps between your account and other specific SRCOs.

Step 2

The next step is to see which sound recordings require your action. If your action is required, on a recording in overlap or dispute, click Yes to view the details.

If you are the existing claimant and the sound recording is in Confirm status, then you will need to select one of three actions:

  • Relinquish – You withdraw your claim.
  • Maintain – You keep your existing claim.
  • Edit – You edit your claim so that the total claims for a given sound recording do not exceed 100% for the same period of ownership.
  • Note – You have 90 days from the send date of the recording’s original “confirmation notice” in the weekly email to take action. Failure to act results in automatic relinquishment in favor of the new claimant.

If you are the new claimant and the sound recording is in Confirm status, the following optional action will be activated for you:

  • Remove Claim – You may remove your new claim before the existing claimant responds.
  • Remove Claim is the only action available to the new claimant while the overlap is in Confirm status.

If you are the new claimant, and the recording is in Reconfirm status, you will need to select one of the following actions:

  • Relinquish – You withdraw your claim.
  • Maintain – You keep your existing claim.
  • Edit – You edit your claim so that the total claims for a given sound recording do not exceed 100% for the same period of ownership.
  • Note – You have 30 days from the send date of the recording’s original Reconfirmation Notice in the weekly email to enter your response in SXDirect. Failure to act results in automatic relinquishment in favor of the existing claimant.

If you are either claimant and the recording is in Dispute status, future royalties for the given sound recording are put on hold and will not be distributed until the dispute is resolved. Follow these steps to resolve sound recordings in Dispute:

  • SoundExchange does not participate in the resolution process for disputed sound recordings.
  • SoundExchange will provide each SRCO involved in the dispute with email addresses of the other involved SRCOs.
  • Once the SRCOs have reached an agreement for the given sound recording, they will need to relinquish or edit their claims within SXDirect.
  • Note – There is no automatic relinquishment clock when the recording is in dispute. The 90-day period only applies when overlaps are identified and communicated to the current rights owner.

Step 3

Once you have acted on an overlapping or disputed sound recording, SXDirect will update in real time. The other SRCO will receive a notification of your action immediately on the screen as well as in the next weekly digest email.

Tip: For SRCOs that prefer to review overlaps and disputes offline, the summary screen enables you to download the entire list or a filtered subset into a .csv file.

Tip: If the ‘Action Required’ field says “No – In Progress,” this means an internal change must be processed by SoundExchange to resolve the overlap and/or move it to the next step in the overlap process. Any subsequent auto-relinquishment clock will not begin until we include the new status in weekly digest email.

Tip: The above actions as described for a single recording in overlap or dispute can also be taken in bulk on a collection of recordings. See our Bulk Resolution blog for more information.

If you have questions, a 1-page summary of all new features can be accessed by visiting My Catalog > About My Catalog. To reach SoundExchange directly, use the Contact section of SXDirect or call our Support team at 800-961-2091.

SXDirect accounts are only available for SRCOs and Artists registered with SoundExchange. To register with SoundExchange please visit: register.soundexchange.com.