In a Federal Register notice published today, the Copyright Royalty Board announced cost-of-living increases in the statutory royalties paid by webcasters for the public performance of sound recordings. These are the royalties paid to SoundExchange by those making noninteractive digital transmissions of sound recordings. This included broadcasters who simulcast their over-the-air programming on the internet or through mobile apps (or through other digital means including smart speakers like Alexa, see our article here). The CRB notice sets out the computations that the Board used to determine the amount of the cost-of-living increase. Those computations led to a royalty rate for 2023 of $.0024 per performance for services that do not charge a subscription fee. For subscription services, the rate will be $.0030 per performance. A performance is one song played to one listener – so for one song paid to four listeners one time each, a webcaster pays about a penny.
Given the rate of inflation in the general economy, it is perhaps no surprise that the rates for 2023 represent a substantial increase from the royalties paid last year, and from those that were in place in 2021, the first year of the current 5-year royalty period. As we wrote here, when the CRB decided on the rates for 2021-2025, the nonsubscription rate was $.0021 per performance. But the CRB provided for cost of living increases. That led to rates in 2022 for commercial webcasters, including broadcasters streaming their programming on the internet, of $.0022 per performance for a nonsubscription transmission and $.0028 per performance for a subscription transmission (see our article here mentioning the 2022 increase). Continue Reading Copyright Royalty Board Announces Cost-of-Living Increase for 2023 Webcasting Royalties – Including Royalties for Broadcasters Who Simulcast Their Programming Online