A new royalty form is available from SoundExchange for 2008.
Law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth reports on its CommLaw Blog: “Whereas in the past, commercial webcasters could choose between calculating monthly royalty payments to SoundExchange for digital performance of sound recordings on either an aggregate tuning hour or a per performance basis, only the latter will be allowed for January 2008 and beyond.”
“The form filed in previous years to notify SoundExchange of the elected method of calculation will obviously not be utilized; instead a commercial webcaster’s only choice is whether to complete the Statement of Account form in Excel or PDF format,” FHH continued. Noncommercial webcasters still have their own form.
“Is this a big deal? Based on conversations with our clients, the answer appears clearly to be yes,” the law firm stated.
“Most broadcast radio stations offering an Internet simulcast and/or other streams of music online have used the aggregate tuning hour method to calculate royalty payments. It is simply an easier calculation to make, as it requires only counting the number of listeners per hour. The per performance option requires the webcaster to know exactly how many listeners heard each song that was streamed.”
The first statements of account are required on March 16, and webcasters must now be employing software or other means of making the per performance calculation.