Sound Exchange Reporting Requirements

I have to say, of all the sessions that I breezed into, having missed the first 10 minutes of Bruce Theriault’s informal remarks about Public Radio stations’ responsibilities for reporing to the Sound Exchange was particularly regretful.

Although, I think I can say with certainty that what he had to say, while it likely contained some of the back story and the nuance of detail that I might have missed, that in the end, his message was clear: each station is required to submit quarterly reports based on these requirements:

Every Quarter: 14 day report
Name of Station
Category
Name of Artist
Name of Song
Album Title and Label (or ISRC code)
Number of Plays
Number of Performances

159,140 ATH = 200 people listening 24/7 for a month

If you stream less than that, you are paying $500 a month. If you are streaming more than that, you need to “pay based on performance”. Either way, you need to send them a 14 days per quarter report.

National Programs can no longer file. Each station (or service provider, as the sound exchange calls them)

Stations need to differentiate between Songs (copyright protected material) and Royalty Free Content (via promos, underwriting etc)

Representatives from Streamguys, Abacast and Public Interactive were on hand to help clarify some of the ways stations could meet these requirements using various approaches and solutions:

Abacast, Public Interactive, and Stream Guys all provide Sound Exchange reporting solutions.

For instance, Mike King, CEO of Abacast explains how they will take your playlists and your streaming log files and put together your streaming reports for you. For instance, he shows us a properly formatted file output from Selector music scheduling software. and Explains how they take this data and match it up with information about your live stream. They have created the necessary software to parse these log files. And they are willing to make this technology available to stations for a nominal fee.

Some discussion then turns towards wave file recognition. Yes.com and mediabase.com, and Tune Genie use soundwaves to match “now playing” information with live stream. Tune Genie might be an option for what’s coming down during a syndicated program.

What we need to do:

Configure Selector / Music Master to getnerate standard report then aggregate these reports in with reports from national service proviers like Classical24 or Jazzworks. There are varous options for how to deal with this data once you have your music scheduling software set up. Either way, the next thing you should be thinking about doing is matching up this data with information about listenership to your live stream and there are several ways of going about it:

Automation systems can:
a) send serial data to encoder
b) send an xml log file to the encoder
c) send the xml log file to the streaming server

The folks at StreamGuys suggest on optiion to use is the Simplcast Encoder by SpatialAudio
– can capture serial data from automation system using a “metadata adaptor”
– produces a log file on encoding machine
– can go out to streaming server and capture the number of people listening to the stream
– can do the reporting data for you.

Another option is to use the Oddsock encoder in conjunction with an Icecast server. This option:
– includes an administration interface for remote entry
– can accept log files in xml format

  • John, consider checking out an article I wrote here: http://radioactivity.fm/articles/soundexchange_reports_of_use.html

    … which delves heavily into the subject.

    ATH calculation is a pretty tricky process, and for stations out there running their own streaming infrastructure it can get a little hairy, for about nine million reasons mentioned in the article.

    I also have a free ATH calculator for folks that want to run their own ATH numbers instead of farming it out, available at http://radioactivity.fm/tools/

    Full disclosure: I’m doing the SE reporting for a bunch of college and community stations facing the same recordkeeping issues as the public stations, all under the radioactivity.fm banner. Same problem, slightly different market 🙂

    p.s. the integration/automation issues can also get ugly, because at the very least you need to capture artist name, title, album, label. There’s a lot of automation out there that omits the ‘label’ field for some reason, and it’s tripping up a lot of the DIY/homebrew outfits.