Can anyone please explain Soundexchange?

Home Forums PROs Can anyone please explain Soundexchange?

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    I registered about 2 years ago and had to jump through a bunch of hoops to do so (personal info/bank info etc.).I have music on and have had music on Spotify as well, I also have had college radio and a small amount of FM radio play.I registered all my songs when I signed up but as I wrote more I tried to register new ones but got emails that were vague and confusing about registering new material (so I stopped registering new songs).I opted out of’s royalty collecting because of Soundexchange but am now wondering if I shouldn’t have.I’m also getting play with AS’s radio program and they do pay me consistently but I think that’s something different..I’m pretty up on licensing for film and TV but this radio stuff is confusing..if anyone is getting $ from Soundexchange and can explain things I’d greatly appreciate it.I know SE breaks things down and pays performers and I think the writers separately..but most of the time I’m wearing all hats..I’m also with ASCAP but never see anything but my film/Tv royalties from them..



    Hi Jay,

    SE is authorized by the US Congress to collect royalties for digital transmissions, like Pandora (internet) and Sirius (satellite).
    They do not collect from college radio and regular FM.

    Not that Wikipedia is the most accurate source of info, but this is a pretty good explanation:

    Now, as far as ASCAP is concerned: Back in the 90’s I was a New Age, then Smooth Jazz artist. My two NA CD’s got a lot of airplay on about 150 college stations, for which ASCAP paid NOTHING, because they rarely survey college radio. The explanation that ASCAP gave me was that they don’t charge college radio very much, and the listening audience is too small. My Smooth Jazz CD charted on radio at #45, nationally. ASCAP paid about $135. Same explanation…”we don’t survey those stations much, and/or that format much.”

    The silver lining: my radio promotion team had sent copies of my New Age CDs to some digital content providers, like XFM (I think). A few years later I did a search on Soundexchange’s website and discovered that they owed me money. Eventually, they paid around $1,200. Last year, out of the blue, I got another check from SE for $500 for performances that occurred back around 2000-2001.

    My experience is that SE does pay, but they lag way behind…like years. Remember that digital transmissions pay fractions of what broadcast pays, so it takes time to reach the threshold for distribution.

    I think that Soundexchange has a new system, in which you can view your account online, like ASCAP and BMI. My Smooth Jazz CD from the 90’s is on Pandora now. We’ll see what happens.

    Best of luck.



    Thanks Michael…that explains it perfectly 🙂

    have you (or anyone) been registering new material as you go?
    and if so…how?



    One more thing on this…I’m in AS’s satellite radio program with 9 songs which pays me consistently but does Soundexchange pay on top of that? I thought I remembered reading that if you’re in the AS thing you still need to register with SE…I just searched for a song of mine that’s getting decent play over there but nothing shows @ SE?



    This is definitely a topic that I’m gonna try to bump! If anyone has anymore info on SE i would love to hear it as well!

    Thanks MichaelL for the great start!


    I sent SE an email with a couple questions (registering new material etc.) about a week ago with no response..I really wonder if they got it together over there?


    I sent SE an email with a couple questions (registering new material etc.) about a week ago with no response..I really wonder if they got it together over there?

    I’ve found that phone calls to SE (and other PROS) work best. To be fair, unless you know an individual at ASCAP or BMI, emails to them can go unanswered for days, weeks or forever.


    My “artist” tracks (music that plays on Pandora, sells on iTunes, et. al.) are registered with Soundexchange.
    I have never registered my production music tracks with Soundexchange. Am I missing out on royalties for these tracks? (I know BMI pays for Hulu and Netflix.)
    Thanks for any information.



    Per Boysen

    Hi Guys,
    I have a short question regarding SoundExchange. I’m both “the rights owner” and “the artist” (composing solo artist running my own label), so should I upload both excel sheets to SoundExchange; i.e. in both roles?

    And how are you doing with plain media music? So far I have only registered my commercial CD releases with SoundExchange, but the I read in the AudioSparx newsletter about SoundExchange and began wondering if I should also SoundExchange register the music I submit to RF libraries?


    Hi All,

    In general yes you should register your music at SoundExchange. However, for participants at AudioSparx and RadioSparx, make sure to opt-out of SoundExchange’s international mandate. Their international mandate is highly-overreaching and provides SoundExchange exclusive control of all licensing of public performance rights for your music outside the USA. So, it is critical that you make sure to opt out of all foreign country participation at SoundExchange so you do not turn over exclusive control of your music to SoundExchange for licensing outside the US.

    For SoundExchange members, AudioSparx does actually require that you and any rightsholders for your music opt out of SE’s International Mandate as a condition to participate at AudioSparx, so that we can direct license your music for public performance uses outside the USA.


    Lee Johnson

    Art Munson

    I recently called to ask about the artist/rights owner question. He told me to just submit the artist form, which has a column to tell them you also own the rights.

    You might want to call them to confirm that, rather than take my word for it. Whenever I’ve had to call I get someone quickly and they’ve always been very helpful.


    Definitely fill out the Rights Owner info. When I first signed up I overlooked this but once I did was paid 14 months back pay! I actually make a little more each month as Rights Owner than I do as an artist.


    Hi Lee, thanks for this information.

    Can you expand on what this International Mandate means?




    I’m signed with AudioSparx so intend to opt out, but can anyone tell me what the consequences (positive and/or negative) of opting out of the SoundExchange International Mandate?

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