SiriusXM Pays Labels & Artists $150M via Soundexchange Settlement – High End Radio

SiriusXM Pays Labels & Artists $150M via Soundexchange Settlement

SoundExchange and SiriusXM have settled their litigation surrounding a decade’s-worth of outstanding claims – from January 2007 through December 2017.

Sirius must now pay SoundExchange a lump sum payment of $150 million, which the organization will then pay out to labels and artists.

SoundExchange accused the satellite radio company of taking “a number of impermissible deductions and exemptions in calculating its royalty payments to SoundExchange”, which included deducting for pre-1972 sound recordings and certain channel packages containing music.

“THE SETTLEMENT ALLOWS US TO DISTRIBUTE ADDITIONAL ROYALTIES TO SOUNDEXCHANGE’S ARTISTS AND RIGHTS OWNERS WHILE AVOIDING ADDITIONAL COSTLY LITIGATION.”

MICHAEL HUPPE, SOUNDEXCHANGE

The legal action was first taken by SoundExchange in 2013.

Commenting on the $150m settlement, SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe said: “We are happy to resolve this case with SiriusXM. The settlement allows us to distribute additional royalties to SoundExchange’s artists and rights owners while avoiding additional costly litigation.”

SoundExchange will distribute the settlement funds to the rights owners and artists whose sound recordings were used during the settlement period.

In December, the US’s Copyright Royalty Board ruled that SiriusXM would increase its royalty payments to artists and labels by 40% for the period beginning Jan. 1 2018 through 2022 – from an 11% share of revenue to 15.5%.

SiriusXM topped topped 33 million paying subscribers in Q1 this year. In January 2007, the company had just 17m subs.

That means Sirius effectively doubled its subscriber base during the 10 years (2007-2017) in which SoundExchange claims the platform took those “impermissible deductions” from its royalty payouts.