SiriusXM Settles With SoundExchange

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WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — Digital performance rights society SoundExchange announced that settled their litigation with SiriusXM, which alleged that the satellite-radio broadcaster underpaid royalties for music played on the service.

Sirius XM Holdings said in a regulatory filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission that it would make a one-time payment to SoundExchange of $150 million to settle the claims. The settlement addresses claims for recordings from Jan. 1, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2017, SiriusXM said.

SoundExchange first hit SiriusXM with the suit in 203, alleging that the broadcaster did not pay royalties for recordings made before 1972. SoundExchange filed a second lawsuit in late 2017 alleging that they had understated revenue in order to underpay SoundExchange.

“We are happy to resolve this case with SiriusXM. The settlement allows us to distribute additional royalties to SoundExchange’s artists and rights owners while avoiding additional costly litigation,” said SoundExchange CEO Michael Huppe in a statement.

The news of the settlement comes amid rising headwinds for SiriusXM. The broadcaster is facing an increase in performance royalties after the Copyright Royalty Board announced last year that the company would have to pay 15.5 percent of gross annual revenues, instead of the current 11 percent, an increase of almost 41%.

Worse, the new rates aren’t being phased in gradually, but went but went live on January 1st, costing the company hundreds of millions annually.

SiriusXM closed down slightly at the end of trading on Monday, following the announcement of the settlement.