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SoundExchange And Sonicbids Team Up In ‘Reverse Telethon’ December 28, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Airplay Charts, Internet Radio, Radio, Radio Stations, RIAA, SonicBids, SoundExchange, Streaming Radio, Uncategorized.

In this economy, it’s hard to imagine anyone making thousands of phone calls trying to give money away. But that’s exactly what happened when SoundExchange, the nonprofit performance rights organization, and Sonicbids, a Web site that helps bands get gigs and promoters book the right bands, teamed up this week to register and pay more than 10,000 musicians who have earned, but not yet claimed, digital performance royalties.

When sound recordings are streamed on the Internet, played on digital satellite radio or used on cable music channels, the performers on that recording accrue a small royalty. Those digital performance royalties are collected by SoundExchange, who processes logs from services and distributes the payments to artists. Unlike other royalty societies, who collect and distribute only to their members, SoundExchange collects royalties for all performers, then has to locate and register artists so they can be paid.

Enter Sonicbids and its international network of independent bands and promoters. SoundExchange asked Sonicbids to crosscheck its list of members against SoundExchange’s list of artists with unclaimed royalties to find matches. Since the two groups share a commitment to advancing the interests of independent artists, both were excited when the match turned up 10,000 Sonicbids artists with unclaimed royalties totaling more than $4 million. Sonicbids Founder and CEO Panos Panay immediately emailed those artists, encouraging them to register with SoundExchange and claim their royalties. Additionally, Sonicbids volunteered it staff to be trained by SoundExchange, and is making nearly 800 phone calls to artists owed $1,000 or more, asking them to register to claim that money.

“Our mission at Sonicbids is to empower the Artistic Middle Class and to help these artists develop sustainable careers. What better way to demonstrate this than partnering with SoundExchange to help our members access nearly $4 million in unclaimed royalties,” said Panay.

“Supporting and empowering artists by making sure they get paid for their work is our core mission. Many artists don’t know they are entitled to these royalties, and partnerships like this one help us spread the word through services like Sonicbids that artists already know and trust,” said Bryan Calhoun, SoundExchange’s Vice President of External Affairs.

Editorial Note: Curious as to whether SoundExchange is holding money for you and how much? Before you register with them to find out, read their terms very carefully. In signing anything on SoundExchange, you are giving them tacit endorsement to continue to collect money for you, whether you want them to or not. This agreement with Sonicbids (Reverbnation, and other sites) is just a mass attempt for them to continue to do what they have been doing, and your signature condones their practices. (Certainly you remember how the RIAA was suing everyone for downloading P2P files., how they effectively crushed internet radio, etc. Well, SoundExchange is part of the RIAA. Regardless of how they present their position, they don’t have your best interest as a musician in mind. They are simply trying to bolster revenues from the recording industry’s sagging record sales.)


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