Key Terms

KEY TERMS FOR CREATORS

The music industry has its own set of terms and phrases when it comes to the business of collecting royalties. Here’s information to help you make sense of the jargon and get to the facts.

The term Artist refers the group, band, or individual name as it appears on the release of a recording. One or more Performers can form an Artist. When an Artist registers with SoundExchange, the Performer(s) can claim a percentage of royalties owed to them on a recording-by-recording basis.

For example:

  • Maroon 5 is an Artist that consists of multiple Performers.
  • Post Malone is an Artist that consists of only one Performer (named Austin Post).

Sound Recording Owner is a record label or an individual who owns sound recordings. This is distinct from a Copyright Owner which owns a musical work or song.

Unclaimed Royalties are payments that haven’t been made because a Performer(s) hasn’t registered to claim them. SoundExchange maintains lists that reflect different statuses for creators that have Unclaimed Royalties. These lists are:

  • Unregistered Artists – Registration information is missing for any of the Performers who make up these Artists, or the registered parties have not made a complete claim.
  • Partially Unregistered Artists – Registration information is missing for some, but not all, of the Performers who make up these Artists. For example, SoundExchange may have registration information and may be paying royalties to four members of a five-Performer Artist, but the fifth Performer is not registered with and is not receiving his/her share of the Artist’s royalties.
  • Unregistered Performers – SoundExchange does have current registration information for these individuals.
  • Unregistered Sound Recording Owners – SoundExchange does not have registration information for these entities/individuals, or the registered party has not made a complete claim.

SoundExchange encourages music creators to register (at no cost) so they can collect royalties.