Tuesday, June 12, 2018

SiriusXM Settles Royalty Lawsuit with SoundExchange

Sirius XM Radio Inc. has agreed to pay $150 million to SoundExchange Inc. to settle lawsuits alleging that the satellite-radio giant underpaid royalties for recordings.

The Wall Street Journal reports Sirius said it would make a one-time payment to SoundExchange, a not-for-profit offshoot of the Recording Industry Association of America, on or before July 7, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The settlement resolves claims for recordings from Jan. 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2017, Sirius said.

SoundExchange, which collects performance royalties from digital music services on behalf of record companies and artists, had sued Sirius in 2013, alleging Sirius refused to pay for recordings made before 1972. SoundExchange also filed a second lawsuit in December alleging that Sirius underpaid it by understating gross revenues.

Sirius had been setting aside the revenue generated by these pre-1972 spins before it calculated the royalties it owes rights holders. But SoundExchange believed Sirius should have paid royalties on all its subscription revenue, without subtracting older music.

Sirius, which generated $5.43 billion of revenue last year, had more than 33 million subscribers as of March 31.

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