SoundExchange, Satellite Radio Discussions Continue

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Over the past few months, SoundExchange has been wrangling over internet radio royalty rates.

But the label and artist representative has also been discussing future rate structures with the satellite radio industry.  In June of this year, XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio entered proceedings with the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), an arm of the Library of Congress.  According to recent filings posted by Sirius, a rate proposal of 0.89 percent of total satellite subscription revenue was initially floated.  That has now been amended to a rate of $1.20 per copyrighted sound recording for 2007, subject to increases or decreases based on subscriber gains or losses.

The satellite renegotiation was first sparked in the fall of the last year, at which point SoundExchange pointed to a drawn-out, multi-month process.   The organization also proposed a flat, 10 percent revenue payment from the satellite groups, though reports has since pointed to far higher demands.  SoundExchange may be empowered by a favorable decision on webcaster rates recently offered by the CRB, a result that has framed a number of post-decision negotiations with internet broadcasters.  “They just asked for something really high and actually got it,” one major label executive noted.  SoundExchange recently resolved a number of royalty-related disputes with larger internet broadcasters, and formally floated discounted terms to smaller webcasters.