SoundExchange could owe you royalties

by Kegan Warner
August 16th, 2012

Westword reported earlier today that SoundExchange, a digital royalty collector, has released a list of recording artists and record labels with "unclaimed digital performance royalties". The list has more than 50,000 artists on it and they claim to be holding more than $31 million dollars in royalties.

SoundExchange is a non-profit "performance rights organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio (such as SIRIUS XM), internet radio, cable TV music channels and similar platform for streaming sound and recordings". They have been collecting these royalties since their founding in 2003.

Artists may not know about the royalties that are owed to them because SoundExchange was appointed by the The Copyright Royalty Board to protect the royalties of every artist. They collect royalties of all music played across digital mediums and hold it until those royalties are collected by each individual artist. This was enacted by The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995. Prior to 1995, artists were not guaranteed royalties for their music that was played via "certain kinds of digital transmissions".

This means that if you are unaware of the existence of SoundExchange, or have just not made time to fill out the correct paperwork, you could potentially have royalty money waiting for you. Everyone from The Swayback to Dr. John are on this list.

See the full press release from

Search for your band on their searchable database.