In response to the $200 million dollars in unclaimed royalties, SoundExchange is blaming it on I interpret it as “a procedural matter”.
Speaking to Wired.com and reported in Kurt Hanson’s RAIN Newsletter, SoundExchange spokeswoman Laura Williams said that, in fact, half of the $200 million is actually not being “held,” but was rather “just in transit through our system when the count occurred.”
Additionally, said Williams, 11% is being held pending court rulings and 5% should go to foreign artists, but international royalty societies haven’t claimed the funds yet. And finally, 10% of the cash came with no data about who the money should go to, while 5% had bad data (like “Various Artists”).
Wired‘s Eliot Van Buskirk does the math to find that Williams’ explanation covers 80% of the $200 million, “which leaves around $39 million owed to artists and labels that have yet to register with the service, and could be unaware that they need to do so.”
SoundExchange continues to accumulate interest on the amount not claimed. Which begs the question, what is SoundExchange doing to find these artists?
The answer may be “Why Do It?”