In Federal Register notices published this week, the Copyright Royalty Board announced cost-of-living increases for two sets of music royalties. Webcasters, including broadcasters streaming their signals on the web or through mobile apps, will be paying more to SoundExchange for the public performance of sound recordings. In addition, noncommercial broadcasters affiliated with educational institutions, but not affiliated with NPR or CPB, will be paying more to SESAC and GMR for their over-the-air broadcasts. These changes go into effect on January 1, 2024. More information about each of these royalties is set out below.
The webcasting royalties that are increasing are those that are paid to SoundExchange by those webcasters making “noninteractive digital transmissions” of sound recordings (see our article here on the difference between interactive and noninteractive transmissions). This includes 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 notice just published in the Federal Register 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 2024 of $.0025 per performance for services that do not charge a subscription fee. A performance is one song played to one listener – so for one song paid to four listeners one time each, a webcaster pays a penny. For subscription services, the rate will be $.0031 per performance. This represents an increase from the 2023 rates of $.0024 for nonsubscription performances and $.0030 per performance for subscription stream. Continue Reading Cost of Living Increases Announced for Music Royalties Paid by Webcasters to SoundExchange and by Noncommercial Broadcasters to SESAC and GMR