SoundExchange continues to grow its payout, hitting $122.5 million in royalty payouts to artists and labels in the third quarter. That figure makes it the largest quarterly payout by the organization since its inception.
In the first quarter of 2012, SoundExchange paid out $108.6 million, which it credited the record quarter to data cleanup and technology overhaul efforts. For the year, the agency has paid out $326.9 million, surpassing the $292 million in royalty payments it made in 2011.
It also brings total payouts since SoundExchange's inception to about $1.2 billion in master rights performance royalties for artists and labels. The organization said that it now distributes royalties on behalf of more than 2,000 digital music services.
"This distribution represents yet another record-setting quarter for SoundExchange, but means so much for the recording artists and record labels that rely upon this growing revenue stream," SoundExchange president Michael Huppe said in a statement. "Musicians and rights owners -- both superstars and rising stars -- have come to depend on these royalty payments. We are proud to help facilitate this growth and are passionate about our work in protecting this revenue stream, and moving the music and creative community forward."
While SoundExchange has received criticism for the revenue it doesn't distribute because many artists have yet to register, earlier this year it shrewdly attempted to stampede artist into signing up by suggesting that if they don't do so by a certain date, they would forfeit any earlier royalty payments due them. The resultant publicity surrounding that successful ploy helped heighten awareness in the artist community about the need to register with SoundExchange.