#102: Bryan Calhoun – All About SoundExchange

Despite being around for a number of years, there is still plenty of confusion in the artist community regarding what SoundExchange actually does. They ARE a performance rights organization, but they are NOT the same as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. As the new music economy develops, it’s important to understand how SoundExchange works and what they can do for you. Believe it or not, they might already owe you money! In this interview, Bryan Calhoun explains the ins and outs of SoundExchange to clear up the mystery.

Learn more and sign up with SoundExchange HERE

Watch great video that sums up the service here.

  • Wow! Thanks so much for this fantastic podcast! It is chock full of some incredibly helpful, very clear, (eventually) monetizing, forward thinking music biz 2.0 information. Thanks to Kevin for the great questions / follow through, to Bryan for great answers and to Sound Exchange for all they do (including their part in the on going legislation.) Keep up the great work!

  • Just registered with SoundExchange last week after hearing about their services on one of the earlier DIY podcasts. Just excellent information in this podcast. Kevin and Bryan discussed that there were a number of online music services that pay these royalties for sound recording and copyright owner.
    A question: I’m aware that an indie artist can submit their music to Pandora (going for that right now thanks to another DIY podcast!). Is there a list somewhere on CDBaby or elsewhere that details who these sites/services are and how you can go about submitting your music for play on their service?
    Gotta say… I’m a much more informed (…and hopefully saavy and successfull) music BUSINESS person because of this podcast. Multiple revenue streams… oh yeah!

  • It is kind of strange to find out that in the United States the owners of the recording are not getting their royalties for radio airplay. So surprised to learn this.

  • Aaron

    SHOULD the artist be paid?

    Why are all the “Non Profit” Sound Exchange people NOT volunteers?

    Someone else is getting paid. Not just the artist.

    Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me!

  • Good podcast Kevin. I’ve heard some mixed things about Sound Exchange almost painting them as some kind of scam , so it was good to get the facts.

    Would it be worth UK artist registering with SE? It sounded like you were asking that question but then got side tracked into the US law question.

    And on that point, no doubt US law favours not only corporations over artists, but songwriters over artists too. Do you think this has helped create the situation we have today where EVERY artist wants to write their own material even if they are utterly useless at songwriting? If you don’t make any royalties as an artist it’s mighty tempting to try to get a slice of the writers pie…

  • Most indie artists don’t expect to get tons of plays on internet radio, let alone terrestrial radio. So unless you’re a well-known act, the money gained from this would be negligible. Call me stupid, but I don’t care about collecting the $2 that’s probably owed to me from these internet performance royalties over the last 3 years. A much more effective use of my time would be to focus on activities that can generate the most profit. It’s a complete waste of time to try and squeeze a profit out of every last opportunity. The only metric that matters in business is cumulative profit. It doesn’t matter if I’m “losing” in one area if another area completely makes up for it. I could try and collect every last thousandth of a cent owed to me through soundexchange or I could do a live show or license my songs or sell t-shirts or pretty much anything else for that matter.

  • Gotta agree with Rob Phas. I would say, though, that I found the podcast interesting, even though I won’t make any real money via soundexchange. Not every podcast has to be 100% relevant to be interesting. Regarding how non-profits work – it doesn’t mean that everyone donates their time. You could not do what Sound Exchange does strictly with volunteers – it would NOT WORK. Given a choice of no system or Sound Exchange, or nothing, I’d choose Sound Exchange.

  • For me personally, I would rather appoint CDbaby as my primary accountants to collect my royalties from Soundexchange on my behalf and simply send 40% of my revenue to artists for a better world and the rest pay to me. For sound exchange, they should find it much easier to deal with cdbaby alone in terms of remitting royalties rather than dealing with all of artists individualy. Cheers!

  • Ian R.

    Does SoundExchange also cover Podcasts? The other guy in my band has a time slot on a college radio station. They record the timeslot and post it as a podcast (with artist music and all). Just curious if podcasted radio is included in the SE royalty as well?

  • I signed up for soundexchange about a year ago when I submitted my music to Pandora. I didn’t think I would see any money from it since I’ve been a member of ASCAP for 4 years now and they never sent me a dime.

    Lo and behold – the other day I got a direct deposit from soundexchang. My royalty statement breaks it down by song and earnings for that song per ‘period’. It showed that this payment was for performances as far back as 2008 (when my first CD came out), way before I ever signed up. It wasn’t much, but it sure feels good to know that people are listening and gives me an idea of how many times I’ve been streamed.

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