SoundExchange agreement extended through 2020

Jan 22, 2016

We are pleased to announce that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and NPR have reached an agreement with SoundExchange that will continue to allow public broadcasters to stream (music) sound recordings over the Internet for five years starting on January 1, 2016, when the current agreement expires.

This comprehensive agreement sets fair and responsible terms for public radio entities that use sound recordings online and continues the good relationship public radio has established with SoundExchange. CPB will pay all the royalty fees to cover qualified public radio stations for the entire term (January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2020). Annual reporting fees will apply to all stations that are not full NPR members (or have a signed MSA with NPR DS). 

As in the previous SoundExchange agreements, stations eligible to be covered must be either CPB CSG qualified; an NPR member station; or an NFCB member station.

The SoundExchange agreement does not apply to public television stations.
To be covered by the agreement, your station must log in to the Music Rights section of the CPB website and opt-in, even if your station has been covered under previous SoundExchange agreements.

Stations must register before December 31 in order to be covered by the agreement’s licensing rights as of January 1, 2016. If you have not done this yet, please register as soon as possible.

You do not need to re-register with NPR Digital Services.

Stations can register later but the agreement does not convey license rights to any station until the station has completed the registration process.

The type and format of the reports that stations must provide to be covered by the CPB-SoundExchange blanket agreement are the same as those needed under the current agreement.
Most stations will have to provide two weeks of data each quarter on usage of their Internet streams and accurate playlists of sound recordings played on their websites.

Under the new agreement, the percentage of “census reporting” stations will increase modestly, and those stations generating the greatest streaming traffic will need to begin census reporting.
These quarterly and census reports will supply SoundExchange with the data necessary to pay the artists and labels.

NPR Digital Services will remain the sole organization designated to help stations report their music use to SoundExchange and will be in touch with your station as appropriate about converting to census reporting.
CPB and NPR have worked with SoundExchange to assure that the extensive variety of musicians and labels played on public radio station websites will receive the compensation to which they are entitled. The agreement also recognizes public radio’s special public service mission and non-commercial nature.

Visit the Music Rights section of the CPB website for information about all of the music rights licenses that CPB negotiates on behalf of the public media system.

If you have questions contact CPB at or 202-879-9703