SoundExchange, large music webcasters reach deal to cap royalty fees
SoundExchange Inc., the group set up by the Recording Industry Association of America to collect royalties for performers and record companies, said it has reached an agreement with the Digital Media Association whose members include large music webcasters, to cap royalty fees at $50,000 per webcaster per year.
The groups are still negotiating to set the rates for each play of a song, the two groups said.
The new rates were set by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) of the Library of Congress in early March and went into effect May 1, retroactive to the start of last year. The first payments under the new rates were due July 15.
The rate increase would at least triple the amount of royalties Internet radio broadcasters must pay to copyright holders per song, and it has been challenged by webcasters, Internet radio listeners and more than 6,000 artists over the past several months.
"This agreement marks an important first step in the Internet radio royalty negotiation process," said DiMA Executive Director Jonathan Potter, in a statement. "We're encouraged by this development and the knowledge that good faith negotiations have begun. We look forward to the next step of negotiating the royalty rates that will allow for the growth of the Internet radio industry, a platform for music discovery for consumers."