Last Friday I gave a webinar about SoundExchange reporting through Public Interactive to stations that belong to the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB). I did a presentation and then we opened things up for Q&A. I was helped out in answering questions by Jeff Luchsinger, Director of Radio Systems Investment at the CPB, who helped craft the agreement between the CPB and SoundExchange.
You can see the slides from that presentation here.
It was a well attended event that sparked lots of good questions. One, in particular, that came up was the following:
Do we need to report live performances, i.e. the artist is playing live in the station’s studio?
The answer here is that since the performance is going out live from your studio and IF you get a valid release from the performers there would be no performance or recording royalty to pay in that case. Again, that is assuming you get a valid release signed by the artist!
There were also questions related to reporting on songs that are in the public domain. There is a quite a bit of fuzziness here, because while a song may be in the public domain in terms of publishing royalties, the recording of it may not be (i.e. a recent recording of an old standard). The recommended approach is to report all music you play and let SoundExchange sort out who (er, whom?), if anybody, is due a royalty.
Finally, there were multiple questions about On Demand archives and whether they are covered by the CPB-SX agreement. The answer depends on the format of the offerings. Podcasts and downloadable archives are not covered. Neither are archives which, while not downloadable, are interactive, meaning the user can restart/rewind/pause/fast forward the archive. Truly streamed archives (played on a loop, non-interactive, non-downloadable) are covered.
This is just the first of a series of such webinars for various station groupings so we can begin to share information on what the agreement between the CPB and SoundExchange means for stations, what Public Interactive’s role in SoundExchange reporting will be and what the next steps are for stations. In July I’ll be doing a series of similar webinars for NPR stations. Keep you eyes peeled for invitations to these webinars or email me and I can forward them along to you.