A couple of years ago, I entered the world of internet radio as an internet radio show host. At that time, in an effort to keep my expenses as low as possible, I decided to launch my show under the umbrella of an already established, terrestrial radio station. However, because of station politics, and just plain outdated station equipment from the seventies, that was only functional 60% of the time, I began to explore other options. What I discovered was, that if I wanted to be totally independent of the politics associated with joining forces with another company's station, I would have to make a sizeable investment of my own to maintain my independence. One of the expenses I began to calculate into my start-up costs, was licensing to play the recordings of independent and signed artists; of course there are always ways to cut corners, but I wanted to be fair and professional about it, which entailed paying for the licensing necessary to play digital recordings. At that time, I was the entrepreneur thinking of cashing in, as opposed to the artist interested in getting something back for all of their hard work. Today, I am the entrepreneur interested in educating artists so they can begin to receive their just due.
SoundExchange (Wikipedia Definition) is a non-profit performance rights organization that collects royalties on behalf of sound recording copyright owners (SRCOs - record labels, generally) and featured artists for non-interactive digital transmissions, including Satellite and internet radio.
First things first, if you are an artist who has a recording or recordings being played on internet radio stations, go ahead and Register with SoundExchange so you can receive your royalties. Please watch this video in its entirety. In five minutes, it explains in detail, how to register for this FREE service.
The New York Times recently published an article on June 17, 2012 entitled, "Royalties From Digital Radio Start to Add Up" written by Ben Sisario. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/business/media/digital-radio-royalties-start-to-add-up.html Three very important things to note about the article - 1) SoundExchange announced the day after the article was published that it has paid $1 billion dollars to artists and record companies since it was founded in 2000; 2) Clear Channel Communications recently announced a direct deal with Big Deal, which is Taylor Swift's record company and 3) at the end of 2010, SoundExchange was holding $132 million dollars in unclaimed/non-distributable funds. What does this mean for you as the artists? Well....it means a few things; as compared to 2000 when SoundExchange was born, there is more money to distribute now. And although some of the major players (literally, players of the music) are making direct deals with major record companies and going around SoundExchange legally to do it, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the tons of internet shows popping up everyday, that are also required to pay the licensing fee SoundExchange cuts checks from to pay the artists.
I didn't mean for the Blog to be this long, but I hope it encourages you to handle your business. Take the time to register and then check the P.L.A.Y.S. database (performance log archive of your songs). This is how you would be able to check to see if monies are being held by SoundExchange and waiting to be claimed by you TODAY. (To my musicians and other non-featured artists, you may have money coming to you as well, so please go ahead and get registered too.)
I'd like to give a shoutout to David E.Maxwell, administrator of the "Christian Musician Connection" group on Facebook, for reminding me about SoundExchange. There are times I don't blog because I'm looking for something really juicy to cover. This one definitely fits the bill. Please support David by checking out his blog at http://www.davidemaxwell.com/blog.html
Now I need your support too. If you have found this article to be helpful, please do the following: Send me a Facebook Request http://www.facebook.com/AJohnson212to214and213 Join this Blog, hit that G+1 button at the bottom of this blog, post a comment, and help increase my artist's chances of appearing in Tyler Perry's movie by Voting for Kina at http://www.youtube.com/
Remember to keep God First in all you do and he will make a way out of no way for you. Amen!