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What is SoundExchange?

Tunetradr’s digital store partners where your releases are distributed payout for downloads and streaming sales. Streaming services (like Spotify) pay artists based on a percentage of revenue that the service receives from subscription and ad revenue. For example, when your music is streamed on Spotify, Spotify reports to Tunetradr your revenue earned based on the monthly pay rate per stream which is determined on their revenue earned that specific month. Tunetradr will then post all sales directly into your account.

In addition, you may be eligible to collect other types of streaming royalties from SoundExchange. SoundExchange is a non-profit organization established by the Copyright Royalty Board. SoundExchange collects and distributes digital performance royalties on behalf of recording artists, master rights owners (like record labels), and independent artists who own their masters. SoundExchange collects these royalties from three main sources:

  • Non-interactive webcasters: SoundExchange collects royalties from non-interactive webcasters, that is service providers that do not allow users to pick and choose what they listen to. Pandora is an example of a non-interactive webcaster, whereas Spotify or YouTube are interactive (or on-demand) streaming services because users pick exactly what they want to listen to.
  • Satellite and Digital Cable TV: When your song is played through digital cable and satellite television music related services like Music Choice (Digital Cable) and Muzak (Dish), SoundExchange collects and distributes the royalties.
  • Satellite Radio Services: In the world of terrestrial radio, it’s only the songwriter and publisher that receive performance royalties, not necessarily the performing artist (unless they own or control their underlying composition(s)). However, in the world of satellite radio, like SiriusXM, SoundExchange monitors their plays and allocates the money to recording artists accordingly.

In order to collect potential royalties owed to you on these types of services, you will need to register with SoundExchange directly, which is free. If you have any additional questions about SoundExchange and their service, we suggest contacting them directly, here.

Please also note that SoundExchange is different from performing rights organizations such as BMI, ASCAP and SESAC (the “PROs”). The PROs collect royalties when music is publicly performed on behalf of songwriters and publishers, not the performance artists per se (although as mentioned above, they may be the same person). Registration with the PROs is a separate process. Visit their respective websites for more information.

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