As we all try and recover from the insanity that was Q3 SoundExchange reporting (well, some of us aren’t done with it yet – so recovery will have to wait), I would like call everybody’s attention to this recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board.
The gist of it is that the CRB has decreed that most digital music services must now do census reporting! That means full-quarter, 24×7 reporting of what music you stream, not sample, 14-days-per-quarter reporting that most stations covered by the CPB-SoundExchange deal must do.
The good news for stations covered by the CPB-SX deal is that this decision does not apply to you and you get to keep doing sample reporting through the end of 2015.
After that, well, we’ll just have to see.
So, see – it could be worse. Like six-times-the-amount-of-work-worse.
A few other things to note:
- The article reiterates the data fields that must be reported for each song streamed: Title, Artist, Album and Label.
- You’ll see mention there also of reporting the number of performances (or actual total performances – ATP) of each song, which is the number of people who actually heard the song. Stations covered by the CPB-SX agreement reporting through Public Interactive don’t have to calculate this number. We do it for you for reporting back to SoundExchange, but in order to do so we need the start and end times of each song play (or the start time and duration), as well as your streaming access logs.
- One statistic not mentioned in the article but that stations also have to calculate and report are total Aggregate Tuning Hours (ATH), for all programming. Stations reporting under the CPB-SX agreement instead report their Music Aggregate Tuning Hours (MATH) – or the ATH for just music programming – which, again, Public Interactive calculates on behalf of stations, using the start and end time of each song play and the streaming access logs.
So, to summarize, if the CPB-SX agreement were not in place (and had the CPB not hired Public Interactive to help with reporting), most public broadcasters would have to:
- Still collect all of the same data about songs streamed, not just for two weeks a quarter, but for every song streamed, all day, every day.
- Use the raw data to calculate the required SoundExchange statistics (ATP and ATH), or pay for software or a service that will do these calculations, instead of having PI do it for free.
- Pay performance royalties to SoundExchange, instead of having the CPB pay the royalties.
Feel better now?
Finally, I draw your attention to the last two sentences in the article:
In recent meetings, SoundExchange has indicated that it is going to emphasize reporting requirements, and potentially take action against webcasters who ignore their obligations. Don’t become an example.
If you are not doing so already, I urge you to begin complying completely with the reporting requirements.