In this economy, it’s hard to imagine anyone making thousands of phone calls trying to give money away. But that’s exactly what is happening as Sound Exchange contacts musicians who have earned, but not yet claimed, digital performance royalties. And they are building their database fast, by tapping into the cloud of musician profiles available online. How cool is that?
Sound Exchange is a performing rights organization undertaking a massive education campaign about the fact that the rights and revenue exist, and how to go about getting the money. In the past few months alone, thousands of artists have been contacted.
When sound recordings are streamed on the Internet, played on digital satellite radio, or used on cable music channels, the performers on that recording accrue a small royalty. Those digital performance royalties are collected by SoundExchange, who processes logs from services and distributes the payments to artists. Unlike other royalty societies, who collect and distribute only to their members, SoundExchange collects royalties for all performers, then has to locate and register artists so they can be paid.
If you want to get paid, you have to register with them at Sound Exchange. If you think your music has been played on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio, Internet radio such as Pandora, Yahoo, Live 365.com and AOL, or on digital cable and satellite TV services like Comcast’s “Music Choice” and DirecTV, you can collect.
The data being collected by today’s digital music companies is being knitted together to connect the dots between online listeners and the copyright holders. By partnering with CD Baby, ReverbNation, SonicBids, Nimbit and others, Sound Exchange is tapping into the long tail of the market, and rewarding musicians who have online profiles – with cash.
CD Baby says they were notified by Sound Exchange that many of their artists were owed money. They matched their databases and found that thousands of artists had not registered with Sound Exchange and therefore were not receiving their payments. CD Baby then reached out to these members with the good news.
According to iLike founder Ali Partovi, a database matching effort for artists that had uploaded their information onto iLike found more than $8 million for more than 8,000 artists. According to Partovi, the $8 million was just a first-run effort, and a broader initiative involving MySpace Music remains forthcoming. “MySpace has a much larger database, so we’ll be unlocking even more money.”
To stake your claim visit Sound Exchange, or to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org