• Reminder: Webcaster Minimum Fee Payments for 2014 are Due No Later than January 31, 2014
  • February 5, 2014
  • Law Firm: Lerman Senter PLLC - Washington Office
  • Commercial and noncommercial entities streaming sound recordings over the Internet under statutory licensing are reminded that the annual minimum webcasting fee for 2014 is due to be paid to SoundExchange no later than January 31, 2014.  The annual minimum fee payment is $500 per channel or station, up to a maximum of $50,000 in the case of commercial broadcasters.  The minimum fee is nonrefundable and credited against any additional royalty fees payable by the webcaster in 2014.  Each minimum fee payment must be accompanied by a service-specific Statement of Account form prepared by SoundExchange, copies of which are available at http://www.soundexchange.com/service-provider/commercial-webcaster/ (for commercial webcasters) and http://www.soundexchange.com/service-provider/non-commercial-webcaster/ (for noncommercial webcasters) by clicking on the 2014 “Minimum Fee SOA” link for the appropriate service type.  Failure to submit the annual minimum fee by the January 31 deadline could subject a webcaster to late payment penalties.  New stations or channels that begin streaming after the January 31 deadline are required to submit a minimum fee payment with the current monthly Statement of Account within 45 days of the end of the month in which streaming began.

    January 31 is also the deadline for certain classes of webcasters to notify SoundExchange that they wish to continue to operate within their class or be exempt from particular filing requirements.  This includes “small broadcasters,” which are commercial broadcasters that streamed fewer than 27,777 aggregate tuning hours in the previous year and reasonably expect not to exceed 27,777 tuning hours in the current year (about seventy listeners each listening an hour a day).  Small broadcasters are exempt from filing monthly Reports of Use upon payment of a $100 reporting waiver.  The submission of the Small Broadcaster Statement of Account form serves as the notification to SoundExchange of a “small broadcaster” election.

    The obligation to submit the annual minimum fee payment is in addition to the ongoing requirement to submit monthly Statements of Account and Reports of Use.