What is SoundExchange?
When your song is streamed on a non-interactive internet-radio platform like Pandora or iHeartRadio, you are owed digital performance royalties. Digital performance royalties are generated by the use of sound recordings on these platforms, and are owed to recording artists and Sound Recording Copyright Owners (SRCOs). In the United States, this type of revenue is collected by SoundExchange.
SoundExchange also has collection agreements with more than 40 counterpart organizations in other countries. This allows them to collect and pay artists and SRCOs when their music is played in those countries too. In select territories/societies, SoundExchange also collects other royalties for the use of master recordings in TV, Film, and Public Performance.
CD Baby is partnered with SoundExchange to collect these royalties on behalf of Sound Recording Copyright Owners (SRCOs).
What are Digital Performance Royalties?
Digital Performance Royalties are generated when your song is streamed on non-interactive internet-radio platforms. SoundExchange collects these royalties, and divides them into 3 shares:
- Rights Owner Share (50%): This share is owed to SRCOs. Typically, this means a record label, royalty administrator, or the artist themselves.
- Featured Artist Share (45%): This share is owed to artists that are prominently featured on a track or album as primary or featured artists.
- Non-featured Artist Share (5%): This share is owed to individuals who are not prominently featured on a track or album, like session musicians or back-up vocalists.
How do I collect Digital Performance Royalties from SoundExchange?
You should sign up directly with SoundExchange as an artist, register your sound recordings, and claim the Featured Artist Share (and Non-featured Artist Share if applicable). SoundExchange will pay the Featured Artist share directly to you. Non-featured Artist Shares are paid out through organizations such as AFM and SAG-AFTRA.
In addition to the featured artist share you claim on your own, if you use CD Baby for digital distribution and opt-in for SoundExchange, we will act as your royalty administrator and claim the Rights Owner share on your behalf. SoundExchange will pay this share to us and we will remit it to you through your CD Baby account. CD Baby takes a 9% cut from royalties collected via SoundExchange.
If you do not want CD Baby to collect the Rights Owner share on your behalf, then do not opt-in for SoundExchange and instead, sign up with SoundExchange as an SRCO, register your sound recordings, and claim the Rights Owner share.
How do I cancel SoundExchange collection through CD Baby?
We have a separate Help Center article with instructions on how to cancel SoundExchange collection through CD Baby. You can view that article here.