Location: Washington, D.C.

Founded: 2003


SoundExchange is a non-profit performance rights organization that represents recording artists and copyright owners, collecting and distributing performance royalty fees on their behalf. SoundExchange is the only such organization certified by the Copyright Royalty Board (appointed by The U.S. Library of Congress) to collect digital performance statutory royalties from streaming services like satellite radio, Internet radio, cable TV music channels, and similar platforms.

Notable Products

  • Represents 48,000 performers
  • Contracted with 5,000 record labels
  • Collects and distributes performance royalty fees



What to Expect

What sets SoundExchange apart from other performance rights organizations like BMI or ASCAP is that this organization specifically tracks digital performance rights royalties generated through streaming/digital transmission via satellite, Internet, and cable. In addition, SoundExchange represents performers, not just songwriters (who may own copyrights), that are entitled to digital performance royalties. When someone listens to Foo Fighters on Pandora or Common on SIRIUS XM, the artist and the master copyright holder (usually the record label) get paid a royalty, and then SoundExchange takes a cut. Incorporated in 2003, the organization had paid out $900 million in royalties by the start of 2012.

SoundExchange represents more than 48,000 indie and signed recording artists, as well as more than 20,000 sound-recording copyright owners. Among the organization’s membership roster are artists like Beck and Queens of the Stone Age, as well as major record labels such as EMI, Sony BMG, and Universal Music Group. Additionally, members include thousands of independent, unsigned artists and boutique labels.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., SoundExchange employs less than 100 people. Departments within the organization include finance, new media, communications, distribution services, data management, IT, artist/label relations, licensing, and marketing. Most positions within the company require at least a bachelor’s degree with a specialization in computer science, business administration, or other area relevant to the position you are applying for. Typically, SoundExchange seeks candidates with at least five years of professional experience in their desired department. Considerable computer literacy and a background in the music industry are valuable. Those interested in reviewing current openings with the organization can find a complete listing on the SoundExchange official website.


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