May 23, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Los Angeles, California – Media and entertainment union SAG-AFTRA has been reaching out to members that are owed the $2.3 million in unclaimed royalties for the use of their recordings from over 2,500 digital radio services.
SAG-AFTRA has partnered with SoundExchange, the independent organization that collects and distributes royalties for the streaming of sound recordings on digital radio, by sharing member information. Together they have identified over 2,000 SAG-AFTRA members who are potentially owed royalties that have been collected by SoundExchange. Performers are often unaware they are owed money until SAG-AFTRA communicates with them and directes them to SoundExchange's online registration.
"Royalties are an important revenue stream, not just for our recording artist members, but for all our members whose recordings are played on some type of digital platform," said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White. "Anytime we can assist our members in collecting money for their professional work, we're happy to help. SoundExchange has been a great partner with the union and we're grateful that this organization exists for our members' benefit."
When sound recordings are streamed on certain digital services, including satellite radio, Internet radio and cable TV music channels including iHeart Radio, Pandora, SiriusXM and Music Choice, SoundExchange collects a royalty on behalf of both performers and copyright holders, as directed under U.S. Copyright Law. Since 2001, SoundExchange has collected and paid out more than $2 billion in digital royalties. SAG-AFTRA and SoundExchange have partnered to locate unregistered SAG-AFTRA members to ensure that they know about this important revenue stream and urge them to take the steps necessary to collect the royalties that they are owed.
"While we are best known for our focus on music, SoundExchange also collects royalties for actors, comedians and spoken word recordings," said SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe. "The match with SAG-AFTRA allows SoundExchange to reach all of these important performers who are entitled to their share of royalties from streaming radio services."
***SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world.