The Song and Sound Recording Performance Right

Mar 17, 2017

12:30pm – 1:30pm CT

The Performance Right is a three billion dollar business in the United States with nintey percent of that money going to songwriters, composers, recording artists, music publishers and record companies. This is the world of ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Global Music Rights and SoundExchange. As to the song (musical composition), the right is an unlimited one where writers get paid for performances of their works in practically any media. The sound recording royalty though, is a very limited one and applies primarily to non-interactive music streaming services (Pandora, SiriusXM radio and cable audio only music channels).
This right has always been the primary source of continuing royalties for songwriters and publishers as well as a substantial new source of revenue for recording artists and record companies. In recent years though, the performance right has faced challenges from the tech community, online streaming services as well as the radio and television broadcast industry all of which have had an effect on current as well as future royalties.
This panel will explain how writers, artists and their representatives get paid from these organizations, how much a performance is actually worth on radio, television, streaming services, live performances and other media, how "bonus" royalties significantly increase the earnings for hit songs on radio, streaming services and highly rated television shows, the basic differences between these organizations and the many challenges they face from the courts, the Department of Justice, the entrance of new types of performing right organizations into the field as well as direct licensing.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

photo of Todd Brabec
Todd Brabec


photo of Jared Goldman
Primary Access
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Secondary Access
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