SoundExchange has completed agreements with various types of webcasters -including Sirius-XM; College Broadcasters, Inc; and the National Religious Broadcasters Music License Committee - governing the royalty rates of sound recordings through 2015.

While the rates and terms - which will be published in the Federal Register - are specific to each group, the agreement accommodates the needs of the growing webcasting industry, while still considering the rights of artists and rights owners to be compensated when their recordings are played.

The deals were negotiated under the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009, which gave SoundExchange the authority to negotiate alternative rates and terms to those set by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in 2007. These modified rate agreements, along with a deal made earlier this month with 'pureplay' webcasters, cover music, comedy, spoken word, and other recorded works streamed over the Internet.

"SoundExchange is always looking for creative business solutions, as long as they are also fair to the creators of the music," said Michael Huppe, general counsel at SoundExchange. Speaking of the Sirius-XM deal, he explained that "Agreements like this one are an important step forward for the industry, and should enable SiriusXM to grow its webcasting business while appropriately compensating artists and rights holders."

Besides the three company's named above, an additional agreement, signed late Thursday night, will be confirmed publicly in coming weeks, according to SoundExchange.

All four agreements establish rates which will be applicable through 2015, with pre-set annual increases to reflect the rising value of sound recordings, but allow for a predictable cost structure that will allow the webcasters to grow while ensuring revenue to artist and copyright holders, according to the press release announcing the deal.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print