A Comprehensive Guide to SoundExchange and Digital Performance Royalties

Divine Thought
3 min readFeb 1, 2023


Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash


If you’re a musician or songwriter, you need to be registered with SoundExchange.

What are digital performance royalties?

Digital performance royalties are the money you get when your music is played on digital music platforms. You’ll be paid these royalties through SoundExchange, an organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties to artists.

Digital performance royalties are different from mechanical royalties, which are collected and distributed by organizations like ASCAP and BMI (for example).

The amount of money you earn from digital performance licenses depends on several factors: how many times your music was played; for what kind of use it was used; where your song was played (e.g., domestic vs international); whether or not it’s been registered with SoundExchange; etcetera!

✅You need to be registered with SoundExchange to maximize revenue from your music

✅ You can get paid for your music being played on digital platforms

✅ It’s free to register with SoundExchange

Why should you register with SoundExchange?

As an artist, getting paid for your music is important. Your fans want to hear their favorite artists and songs on digital platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and online digital radio stations that have registered their platforms with SoundExchange. But if you aren’t registered with SoundExchange (the organization responsible for collecting royalties on behalf of recording artists), there’s no way for them to claim their share of the revenue generated by streaming services using your recordings.

SoundExchange makes it easy to get started as an artist — you can sign up in just a few minutes online at www.soundexchange.com/artists/register/. Once you’re registered with SoundExchange as an artist, their system will begin tracking plays of your music across all licensed platforms so that when money comes in from those services (which happens automatically), they’ll pay out the appropriate amount directly to any artist that has properly registered their music!

✅ Make sure you’re registered with the right PRO (Performance Rights Organization)

✅ Make sure your contact information is up to date

✅ Make sure you’re registered with SoundExchange to collect your digital performance royalties

How can I make sure my publishing info is up to date?

It’s important to keep your publishing information up to date. That way, when royalties are paid out, you get the money that’s owed to you. To make sure your publishing info is correct: Make sure that the PRO (Performance Rights Organization) listed on your SoundExchange registration is the one that represents all of the songs on which you hold a copyright interest in. If not, go ahead and change it! To do so: Log into MySoundExchange > “My Account” tab > “Update My Information” button at the top right corner of the screen under “My Details” section > Click on the “Change my Primary Contact Info” link below where it says “Primary Contact Name” and enter new information there (this will also update all other related contact info). Update any other missing details such as mailing address(es), phone numbers, etc., by selecting from dropdown menus or entering new values directly into text fields when you’re prompted to.

How do I get paid for my digital performance royalties?

You will be paid directly through SoundExchange itself, direct deposit, or you can have a check mailed directly to where you live.

If you’re a musician or songwriter, you need to be registered with SoundExchange or you’re not maximizing your revenue as an artist

If you’re an artist that wants to turn music-making into a profession in 2023 and beyond, you need to be registered with SoundExchange. SoundExchange is a non-profit organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties for sound recordings on behalf of recording artists and record labels. You can find out if your music is being played on digital platforms like Pandora, Spotify, and digital online radio networks by searching for it in their database here: https://www.soundexchange.com/royaltysearch/. You must have all of your publishing information up to date before submitting any claims through them.


SoundExchange is a non-profit organization that collects digital performance royalties from all registered digital media platforms and streaming services, then distributes them to artists, labels, and other rights holders. SoundExchange collects these royalties on behalf of over 100,000 music creators each year and pays out over $100 million in royalties annually.



Divine Thought

Artist / Creative / Content Creator Host of #ForAllMatters podcast I'm not a Democrat or a Republican - IT'S A 1 PARTY SYSTEM!