SoundExchange Reports $238.9 Million Q3 2022 Distribution, Elevating Yearly Total Past $700 Million

SoundExchange Releases 'Music Data Exchange (MDX)' - Here's Everything You Need to Know
  • Save

SoundExchange has announced that it distributed $238.9 million during 2022’s third quarter – a slight decrease from the same three-month stretch in 2021.

The 19-year-old entity just recently shed light upon its financials for July, August, and September of 2022, which, as noted, saw SoundExchange deliver $238.9 million in digital radio royalties to its “creator community,” according to higher-ups.

Also as highlighted, the figure represents an approximately seven percent decline from Q3 2021’s roughly $256 million in distributed royalties – a total that itself marked a six percent QoQ boost as well as a comparatively small one percent YoY uptick.

For further reference, SoundExchange – to which LiveOne and its Slacker subsidiary were ordered to pay nearly $10 million in owed licensing payments earlier this month – reported distributing a total of $992.5 million last year, for a 4.8 percent improvement from 2020.

Upon revealing the Q3 2022 distribution, SoundExchange identified a running yearly total (for 2022’s opening three quarters) of $703.8 million. Adding the Q3 2022 distribution (which is a bit larger than the average of Q1, Q2, and Q3) to the sum to create an estimate for the entirety of 2022, SoundExchange could be on track to distribute a total of $942.7 million or so.

While down from the aforementioned 2021 distribution of $992.5 million, the 2022 estimate signifies a modest decrease from 2020 (when $947 million was distributed by SoundExchange) and a close to $35 million jump from 2019 (when SoundExchange distributed $908 million), according to disclosures from the non-profit.

SoundExchange’s projected 2022 distribution is especially significant because it was only in March that the organization cracked a cumulative total of $9 billion in payouts since debuting as a standalone operation in 2003.

Worth highlighting in conclusion is that SoundExchange’s collected royalties have steadily increased in recent years, growing from $963 million in 2019 to north of $1 billion in 2020 (reflecting $794 million in statutory royalties) and some $1.06 billion in 2021 ($824 million in statutory royalties), per a 2021 annual report.

Similarly, though, SoundExchange has reported consistent increases in its “operating administrative rate,” which the noted annual breakdown shows rose from 4.8 percent in 2019 to 5.3 percent in 2020 and 5.8 percent in 2021.

Over the summer, SoundExchange and VEVA Sound announced a data-sharing partnership, and SoundExchange was one of the many industry companies and entities that promptly came out in favor of the American Music Fairness Act following its Senate introduction.

The bipartisan legislation is musicFIRST’s answer to the (also bipartisan) National Association of Broadcasters-backed Local Radio Freedom Act, which is said to have received majority support in the House. In brief, the straightforward LRFA simply calls for lawmakers to abstain from imposing “any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” on terrestrial radio stations, which pay for the use of compositions but not recordings in the U.S.