SoundExchange Reports $269 Million in Q2 2023 Distributions — Up 17% Year Over Year — Following 2022 Slip

SoundExchange collections
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SoundExchange collections
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Photo Credit: SoundExchange

SoundExchange has revealed that it distributed $269 million in royalties, reflecting a 17% year-over-year (YoY) improvement, during 2023’s second quarter.

The 20-year-old entity just recently shed light on its second-quarter payouts in an approximately 130-word announcement message. According to the concise resource, SoundExchange – which collects and distributes royalties for the use of recordings on non-interactive digital platforms like SiriusXM – paid out $497.8 million total during H1 2023.

May of this year had seen SoundExchange tout its hitting the $10 billion distribution milestone, though it bears noting that the entirety of 2022 had delivered small slips in both collections ($1.017 billion) and distributions ($959 million).

(As part of the $10 billion distribution announcement, SoundExchange received words of support from Train lead singer Pat Monahan, who said that the entity “sticks up for artists and makes at least one part of this industry easier to navigate.” Closer to September’s beginning, Train received a “SoundExchange Hall of Fame Award” that recognized the non-interactive listenership prevalence of “Hey, Soul Sister.”)

Nevertheless, should SoundExchange distributions for 2023’s latter half meet or exceed H1 levels, the organization would surpass last year’s total payout and approach the $1 billion mark. For additional context, the $497.8 million distribution sum for H1 2023 represents a 7.1% YoY boost from H1 2022’s $464.9 million, the RIAA indicated in a report of its own today.

Expanding upon these figures, SoundExchange (which now counts as a board member American Federation of Musicians president Tino Gagliardi) sued SiriusXM last month for allegedly failing to cough up “more than $150 million in royalties owed to artists and copyright owners.”

This alleged underpayment, the plaintiff maintained, had resulted in part from the artificial inflation of revenue attributable to webcasting in satellite- and online-radio packages.

SiriusXM promptly fired back against the suit and the claims therein, though, relaying that it’d “always respected the rights of creators and artists,” including by forwarding to SoundExchange north of $5 billion during the past decade.

“SiriusXM has simply adhered to that clear regulatory framework, using a rigorous, tested and fair methodology to identify and allocate revenue for the streaming component of its bundled packages—a methodology completely consistent with precedent from the CRB,” the Liberty Media-owned company stated. “Furthermore, SiriusXM has been transparent with SoundExchange from the start on its methodology.

“Today, royalty payments from SiriusXM represent over 80% of the statutory royalties that SoundExchange distributes to record labels and performers,” drove home SiriusXM, which reported having 34 million subscribers as of the second quarter’s end.