SoundExchange to host online discussion for webcasters

Friday, January 6, 2012 - 1:05pm

SoundExchange will host its first-quarter webinar for service providers (e.g. webcasters) Thursday, January 19.

SoundExchange is the recording industry agency that collects and distributes royalties for digital public performances of copyright sound recordings. They conduct quarterly webinars to answer customer questions. In fact, SoundExchange is encouraging attendees to submit questions they'd like addressed during the webinar when they register. Attendees can also "instant message" questions during the webinar.

Register for Q1Y12 Webinar for Service Providers (Thursday, January 19 3p-4p ET, 2p-3p CT) here.

8/12: Sirius XM reportedly seeking direct licensing to bypass SoundExchange

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 11:00am

Sirius XM is attempting to reduce the fees it pays for the use of copyright sound recordings by forging deals directly with record labels, and thus bypassing the statutory terms and SoundExchange.

(Read more here).

Artist unions and SoundExchange then protested the move in October. They called the effort "blatantly anti-artist." Read more here.

Tech-related hires at CBS Radio, NPR, and SoundExchange

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 11:05am

CBS Radio has brought on Neil Salvage to helm its digital sales. Salvage will be responsible for national and local digital assets sales -- websites, mobile, and streaming. He'll report to CBS Radio President of Sales Michael Weiss (coverage in Radio World here).

Meanwhile, NPR has created a Silicon Valley-based technology correspondent position, and brought on journalist Steve Henn for the role. He'll report on how technology affects the lives of citizens and consumers, and cover startups, venture capitalists and the entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley, NPR said. He's currently the technology and innovation reporter for American Public Media's "Marketplace." More here.


SoundExchange has appointed Scott Day as CTO. He most recently served as CTO for financial services and media company The Motley Fool. Jonathan Bender was recently named COO. SoundExchange is the recording industry agency that administers royalties for digital uses of copyright sound recordings (e.g. webcasting). There's more here.

Jonathan Bender joins SoundExchange as COO

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 12:00pm

Jonathan BenderSoundExchange has appointed Jonathan C. Bender as its chief operating officer (COO).

Bender has served in the music industry for over 20 years, holding senior operational roles at Concord Music Group, Universal Music Group and EMI Music.

"He will also oversee repertoire management and the organization's database for tracking, collecting and distributing music royalties on behalf of artists and record labels," SoundExchange stated. SoundExchange is the U.S. music industry body that collects and distributes royalties for digital performances of copyright sound recordings.

You can find SoundExchange's press release here.

Oxenford: "Music community seemed to favor (and expect) such negotiations" in 2005-2006

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 11:00am

David Oxenford, partner at Davis Wright TremaineSiriusXM's much-publicized move to obtain direct music licenses and thereby avoid SoundExchange has caused an uproar amongst artist unions and SoundExchange (RAIN coverage here and here).

But industry attorney David Oxenford (pictured) points out that SoundExchange's own witness in the Coypright Royalty Board proceedings of 2005-2006 expected this move.

"If the price is too high," stated SoundExchange witness Michael Pelcovits, an expert economist, "parties can (and are almost certain to) negotiate agreements for rates lower than the statutory standard. Thus, a rate that is set too high is likely to 'self-adjust' because of the sellers' natural incentive to meet the market."

Yesterday, SoundExchange president Michael Huppe told the New York Times (here), "Our mission is to maximize the value of the content...We believe that content is already undervalued."

Writes Oxenford, a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine: "In other words, the music community seemed to favor (and expect) such negotiations, before they were against them it in their statements today." Oxenford even argues such negotiations for lower rates outside of the CRB have already happened: the web radio royalty deals following the Webcaster Settlement Acts (more here).


So why is SoundExchange upset over SiriusXM seeking lower rates? "One possible difference is the loss of control," reasons Oxenford. SoundExchange was able to decide which webcaster deals would be precedential in future CRB proceedings (making most non-precedential, meaning they could not be considered in future CRB arbitration).

"Deals that are marketplace deals" -- including any direct deals SiriusXM is able to get -- "would not be afforded the non-precedential status." Meaning the CRB could consider any (presumably lower) rates SiriusXM reaches outside of SoundExchange.

You can find David Oxenford's full article and analysis at his Broadcast Law Blog here.

New York Times talks to SiriusXM, SoundExchange chiefs following licensing uproar

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 12:00pm

Mel Karmazin, CEO of SiriusXMIn late October, artist unions and SoundExchange issued official statements protesting SiriusXM's attempts to directly license music from copyright holders, thus circumventing SoundExchange (RAIN coverage here). Reports of SiriusXM's direct licensing aims first surfaced in August (here).

“We think rights holders should benefit from a more competitive and open environment created by inviting individual labels to set their own value on their content rather than having to follow the industry collective,” SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin (pictured right) now tells the New York Times.

The NYT also spoke with SoundExchange president Michael J. Huppe, who said that "at the end of the day, what [SiriusXM is] trying to do is get content for less money." He said SoundExchange would continue to push in the opposite direction, asking for higher royalties from the satellite radio broadcaster. "We believe that content is already undervalued."

Comments the NYT: "Sirius’s move was only the latest example of a gradual shift in the financial infrastructure of music. Many companies, from major labels to providers of background music, have been trying to reduce costs and gain control by circumventing the large organizations that have historically processed licenses and royalties."

You can find the full New York Times article here.

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