Music Tech

New CRB webcast rates mean more money for all artists, labels

The US Copyright Royalty Board has set rates 2021- 2025 for webcasters that will mean higher payments to artists and labels.

The new rates will also require stations to make back payments to the start of the year.

“This CRB decision means that creators will be compensated more fairly when their recordings are played on digital music services,” said Michael Huppe, President and CEO of SoundExchange. “While the rates are lower than SoundExchange and others proposed, they represent a step forward toward building a healthier music industry… We haven’t fully closed that gap, but today is a step in the right direction.”

“It is clear that the CRB can come up with reasonable rates when they’re asked,” said music industry attorney and analyst Chris Castle. “It’s also a great example of the power of strong bargaining groups including SoundExchange, the unions, indie and major record companies, and a broad cross-section of music users.”

ServiceNew Rate Per Performance 2021Old Rate Per Performance 2020Increase
Commercial Nonsubscription$0.0021$0.0018+17%
Commercial Subscription$0.0026$0.0024+8%
Noncommercial Webcaster (Non-educational)$1000 per station or channel up to 159,140 Aggregate Tuning Hours/month Overage at $0.0021 per performance$500 per station or channel up to 159,140 Aggregate Tuning Hours/month. Overage at $0.0018 per performancePer-station: +100%
Overage: +17%

“Rates for noncommercial educational webcasters, satellite radio, audio for business establishments and some others – are decided in a different process,” reminds Castle.

Their 2021 rates for these services can be found on the SoundExchange website.

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is also the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor at the Berklee College Of Music online.

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