SoundExchange Paid Out a Record $88 Million in Q3, but Big Money Is Still Going Uncollected
SoundExchange Paid Out a Record $88 Million in Q3, but Big Money Is Still Going Uncollected

SoundExchange paid out $252 million in digital performance royalties in 2010, the organization announced Thursday. The non-profit performance rights organization has now paid out more than $600 million for the performances of sound recordings by webcasting, satellite radio, television music channels and similar streaming platforms.

As digital services like Pandora and satellite radio increase in popularity, the payouts are getting bigger. In 2010 the average payment for artists increased 80% to $2,800 last year. The average payment to rights holders rose 39% to over $14,000.

"These revenues are an industry success story, hinging on the collaboration of artists, copyright holders, streaming services, and the committed SoundExchange team," said Michael Huppe, SoundExchange's president. "This is part of the business equation that enables music creators to continue their extraordinary work, and when that happens, everyone wins."

A common complaint about SoundExchange is that it sits on uncollected money due to unregistered artists and rights holders. But with more registrations, some of that money can be paid out. Indeed, 11,000 artists and copyright holders registered with SoundExchange in 2010, more than double the number in 2009.