31 Million. Anyone?


Perhaps you have heard the name and wondered who Soundexchange is and what they do.

In a nutshell, Soundexchange is the organization that collects royalties from digital and online sources, such as streaming services (Rdio, Spotify-coming soon to Canada, etc.), satellite radio, and cable music services, calculates how much each artists and recording company is owed in royalties for the performances of their work, and sends those folks a cheque.

Well to be precise, they send you a “check”, because Soundexchange is based in the United States, and that is where this particular royalty stream that is paid to artists and labels originates.

Keep in mind; this money goes to the artists and labels, as opposed to songwriters and music publishers who receive their US performance royalties through SOCAN, who is represented in the US by ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

And yes, as a Canadian you can register your independent record or label with Soundexchange and receive payments directly from them. If you are an artist and/or label and have not done so already, may I suggest you go to http://www.soundexchange.com, and register ASAP.

After all, Soundexchange has already paid out over $1 billion in digital performance royalties, and the amount of royalties it distributes is growing every year.

If getting paid for the performance of your music online in the US isn’t incentive enough, how’s this? There is 31 million American dollars in Soundexchange’s bank account that it wants to pay to artists and record labels whose music has been streamed in the US. Problem is, it can’t find them.

So here’s the question: Are you one of those artists or record labels?

The good news is there is an easy way to find out. Just follow the link below and search the database of those that are owed money. Some unknown folks are owed as much as $100,000.


Eddie Schwartz
President, SAC
Acting Co-chair, Music Creators North America

8 thoughts on “31 Million. Anyone?

  1. I am curious if you have any guidance / information about how to navigate the accompanying tax forms.

    I have tried a couple of times to sit down with the paperwork, and frankly… it is daunting to deal with. Could SAC could do a step-by-step article on filling out W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding.)

    I’m imagining there are other SAC members who are also confused by the form? I don’t recognize all the legal terms, and it would help a lot to have them explained in plain English. And to know what category I fit under as a Canadian songwriter.

    On one of my attempts to register, I did ask Soundexchange through their facebook page, but I think it got lost in their newsfeed.



    1. I agree with Karyn,
      I’ve downloaded the forms and filled out what I could but, then I get to the “Tax ID” and W-8BEN with it’s “Tax Treaty Benefits” etc.. and I’m lost.
      Considering it’s an online form, should I really need a lawyer to fill it out?
      Any help from SAC on this would be great!


    1. Sorry for delayed response. When I signed up to Soundexchange personally, which was some time ago, it was a little simpler.

      Most royalty streams that are derived from collectives are not subject to withholding tax, but we will need to check with tax and legal experts to confirm. We will look into it in more detail and post what we find here.




  2. I will create a W-8BEN with all the appropriate wording and boxes checked off, and scan it to SAC head office, to Isabel Crack, Managing Director of SAC. Everyone can use that to give to Soundexchange, or any US entity that will be paying royalties to a Canadian.


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