Royalty payments are the single biggest cost for Internet radio and audio streaming services. The question for observers of industry data is whether Soundexchange royalty collections are a good barometer of industry health and the revenue that Internet radio delivers to artists.
Yesterday, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) raised royalty rates for Internet radio streams from 0.14 cents to 0.17 cents per song played. The 21% royalty increase takes effect in 2016. Future rates will rise annually between 2017-2020 based on the Consumer Price Index. Who is impacted by the rate change?