SoundExchange is once again at odds with Sirius XM, accusing them of misrepresenting and underpaying royalties related to their internet streaming service. This conflict revolves around the distinction between Sirius' two primary services: its satellite subscription and internet streaming. Given that the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board has set different royalty rates for each, the lawsuit alleges Sirius XM has been strategically bundling these services, skewing revenue towards 'webcasting revenue' to reduce royalty costs. SoundExchange's complaint says this tactic allows Sirius XM to "exploit the creative efforts of recording artists without paying legally mandated compensation."
Interestingly, this isn't the first time the two entities have clashed over royalties. A similar conflict in 2013 was resolved in 2018, with Sirius XM paying SoundExchange $150 million. Now, the same amount is at stake.
To musicians and artists: Given these recurring issues between SoundExchange and Sirius XM, how do you feel about the distribution and management of digital royalties? Do you believe organizations are doing enough to ensure fair compensation?