A Look At SoundExchange’s 2017 Financials From Its IRS Filing

Billboard News Today

SoundExchange reported $63.61 million in total income for 2017, which is up from $56.4 million in income reported in the prior year, according to the organization’s 990 form filed with the Internal Revenue Service, which it made available to Billboard in advance of an imminent public posting at

This is revenue it retains for expenses after it paid $683 million in royalty payments to artists and labels in 2017, which it previously announced in March 2018. At that time, the not-for-profit organization, which files as a tax-exempt entity, said $652 million was paid out from U.S. collections for sound recording performance rights. $31 million was apparently paid out from collections made by the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), which was acquired in May 2017 and handles Canadian mechanical publishing royalties.

Of the $63.61 million, $59.9 million came from collections, while $3.68 million came from investments, mainly short-term instruments that the organization invests in as part of its cash management of royalty revenues. Moreover, another $3.8 million of that came from fees paid to CMRRA.

Overall, royalty collections from programmed digital services, SoundExchange’s traditional business operations, totaled $717 million last year, according to the organization’s website, while the form 990 puts expenses at $57.7 million. After reducing expenses by subtracting $3.8 million in interest from cash and security holdings, that means expenses for all of SoundExchange traditional operations — excluding CMRRA — comprised 6.8 percent of total revenue. That’s up from 5.3 percent in the prior year, even though expenses only increased by about $1 million, as shown on SoundExchange’s website.

The financials include SX Works, which had $18 million in collections last year after its acquisition counted toward SoundExchanges financials, and means total collections were $735 million. [READ MORE Billboard News]


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