SoundExchange Sitting On Unpaid Royalties
May 21, 2010 at 4:29 AM (PT)
SOUNDEXCHANGE is sitting on over $200 million in unpaid royalties, reports DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS, which claims "the amount may be quite a lot more."
"According to IRS returns (filed under federal non-profit Form 990)," writes DMN, "SOUNDEXCHANGE was holding the bag on a 'fund balance' of nearly $260 million by the tail end of 2008. Subsequently, SOUNDEXCHANGE executive LAURA WILLIAMS told DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS that the figure was closer to $200 million at the beginning of 2009 because of ongoing payouts. The organization could not offer more up-to-date figures, due to 'auditing phase' confidentialities."
KURT HANSON's RAIN NEWSLETTER points out that SOUNDEXCHANGE claims the problem "is in part caused by the booming popularity of online radio. 'The whole industry is increasing year-over-year,' said SOUNDEXCHANGE executive LAURA WILLIAMS. 'We’re just a part of, or more accurately a reflection of, that explosion.'"
PANDORA founder TIM WESTERGREN seems to understand the position SOUNDEXCHANGE is in, saying "I think, and I say this as a musician myself, that musicians need to step up here. I don’t think SOUNDEXCHANGE is trying to hold on to money. It’s just remarkably hard to get musicians to take the initiative."