SoundExchange reporting overview

Webcasting compliance

The Copyright Royalty Board’s (CRB) determination for the 2016-2020 webcasting rates resulted in three categories for noncommercial webcasters. They differ in eligibility, royalty fees, reporting and various other details. We have written simplified instructions for the whole process of achieving compliance from registration through making payments and filing reports.

Noncommercial License options:

Summary table


  1. The number of listeners simultaneously connected to a stream varies as listeners connect and disconnect. The monthly audience size threshold for a minimum-fee webcast is 159,140. Dividing it by 730 (the average number of hours in a month) equals the average number of listeners of 218.

    The official unit of audience size in webcasting regulations is Aggregate Tuning Hours (ATH), which is

    “…the total hours of programming that the Licensee has transmitted over the Internet during the relevant period to all end users within the United States… By way of example, if a service transmitted one hour of programming to 10 simultaneous listeners, the service’s Aggregate Tuning Hours would equal 10. Likewise, if one listener listened to a service for 10 hours, the service’s Aggregate Tuning Hours would equal 10.” The full definition is given in §370.3(b)(1) of the Copyright Office rules and regulations

    Think of “tuning” in terms of listener-hours aggregated over a given period of time.

    ATH is found by processing a stream server log, which lists every listener connection to the server, its IP address, and when it connected and disconnected.

  2. Most noncommercial stations don’t need to calculate excess fees but for those that need it we provide a simple formula for budgetary projections:

    Multiply the following three numbers:

    • $0.0018 — current per-performance rate
    • 730 — the average number of hours in a month
    • 12 — webcasting regulations assume 12 songs per hour for music shows

    The resulting number is your monthly excess fee of $15.768 for each increment in average audience size over 218.