SXSW Music 2013

The Royal(ties) Pain in the Music Industry’s A$$


Once upon a time listening to your favorite song involved sitting by the radio, twisting dials or twiddling your thumbs. With broadcast radio’s limited reach and monopoly on driving music sales, performance royalties weren’t even a twinkle in the government’s eye. Then came MTV, Sirius/XM and Pandora.

Today, we’ve amassed a patchwork of legacy policies that create a complex system of royalties. When it comes down to it, media companies (both traditional and digital), record labels and artists are working toward a common goal: maximum distribution and revenue. But the current royalty discrepancy has created a rift as media companies fight to for the right to deploy cool and innovative distribution methods, without picking up heavy costs.

This session will put royalties under the microscope, looking at how we got where we are today and hashing out solutions that could benefit all parties – from traditional and digital music services, to the labels and artists making it happen.

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Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How much are broadcast, satellite and online radio sources paying in royalties?
  2. How did the discrepancy in royalties for broadcast, satellite and online radio come about?
  3. What are some of the recent legislations dealing with royalties?
  4. What challenges are preventing a standardized royalty rate?
  5. What are some potential solutions? How can those involved in the radio industry (broadcasters, record labels and artists) work together to maximize revenues for all parties involved?



Patrick Reynolds, EVP, Marketing, Triton Digital

Meta Information:

  • Event: Music
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Performance Royalties
  • Track 2
  • Level:

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