The Copyright Royalty Board yesterday announced on its website the royalty rates that webcasters will pay to SoundExchange for the use of sound recordings in their digital transmissions over the Internet and to mobile devices in the period from 2016-2020. For commercial webcasters, the CRB set $.0017 as the per performance (i.e. the rate paid per song, per listener) rate for nonsubscription streaming, and $.0022 per performance for subscription streaming. For most webcasters, including broadcasters, this represents a drop of approximately 1/3 in the rates paid – perhaps the first time in any CRB proceeding that rates decreased as the result of a CRB decision. The rates and terms adopted by the CRB for this statutory license can be found here.
For Pureplay webcasters, like Pandora, the nonsubscription rates represent a modest increase from the $.0014 rate that they were paying in 2015 pursuant to the Pureplay Agreement negotiated under the Webcaster Settlement Act almost 8 years ago (see our article here). For the subscription services offered by these companies, the rate actually decreases from the $.0025 rate that they had been paying. There is also no provision for a percentage of revenue. The Pureplay Agreement had required that services pay the higher of the per performance rate or 25% of the webcaster’s gross revenues from all sources, limiting their growth outside of webcasting, and preventing companies with substantial other business interests from entering the Internet radio market and relying on the Pureplay rates. That percentage of revenue overhang has been eliminated. For a summary of the rates that had been in effect for all of the different classes of webcasters, see our article here.
Continue Reading CRB Announces Webcasting Royalty Rates for 2016-2020 – Lower Rates for Broadcasters Who Stream, Minimal Change for Pureplay Webcasters