New Webcasting Royalty Rates for 2016-2020

Happy New Year Biz Talkers! Well, a new year brings new webcasting rates for streaming of sound recordings over the internet. On December 16, 2015, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) announced new royalty rates that webcasters must pay to Sound Exchange for the use of sound recordings in digital transmissions over the internet and to mobile devices between 2016 and 2020.

The rates are $.0017 (up from $.0014 in 2015) per performance for non subscription streaming and $.0022 per performance for subscription streaming (down from $.0025) for commercial broadcasters. It would appear that the webcasting industry is generally pleased with these rates as they do not represent the dramatic increase in rates that were anticipated to be handed down based on the rates suggested by Sound Exchange.

What will be interesting is whether these rates will also mean that publishers will not receive the dramatic increases they are looking for with respect to mechanical license rates for songs as compared to mechanical license rates for master recordings. You may recall from a previous post that mechanical license rates for sound recordings are about 9 times the rate of mechanical licenses for musical works (songs). Stay tuned as this year promises to be stirring as the landscape of digital rights continues to evolve. Take a big sigh of relief for now webcasters!!!

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