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SoundExchange

PENNIES FROM HEAVEN? If you saw SoundExchange's release today, in which the PRO said its Q2 payments amounted to $149 million to artists and labels, up 55% from the same quarter last year, you'd be forgiven for wondering about how much it matters. The nonprofit, established by the Copyright Royalty Board, collects streaming royalties from non-interactive Internet, satellite and cable radio (not from sources like Google and Rdio that let users pick exactly what they want to hear). SoundExchange says it's paid out $1.5 billion so far , taking a 4.9% admin fee for its labors. According to several managers we asked, SoundExchange makes its most substantial payouts to copyright owners who've had numerous songs in the marketplace but haven't yet signed up--when they do, the accumulated monies can be significant. Once they've "caught up," the checks (based on current rates of $0.0021 per stream for commercial Webcasters) get a lot smaller. Still, as one manager said, "It feels like found money," and the pool of participants and outlets is certainly growing. If there weren't a substantial amount to be collected, there wouldn't be an incentive for label groups to negotiate their own deals directly with Webcasters. (7/10p)

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