SoundExchange Extends CEO Michael Huppe Through 2021

Billboard Magazine - January 10, 2018
By Ed Christman

by Ed Christman

SoundExchange CEO Michael Huppe will now helm SoundExchange through 2021, thanks to a contract extension. Huppe has led the agency, which has distributed nearly $5 billion in digital performance royalties to artists and rights owners since its formation by Congress, since 2011.

“Mike has the tricky job of navigating the interests of the various SoundExchange board members, myself included — interests which often converge, but often after a process, which Mike skillfully takes us through,” SoundExchange Board member, solo artist, and former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne said in a statement. “The music business is never smooth sailing, to continue the metaphor, but with Mike as our captain we’ll adapt, prosper and grow. Mike is great at seeing the larger picture and has been adept at making SoundExchange a unique and trusted…name in our world.”

During Huppe’s tenure, the agency has diversified its offering to include third-party administration of direct licenses; and the acquisition of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd., a mechanical rights collection organization, among other capabilities.

“Mike’s vision and energy have driven SoundExchange through a remarkable period of growth and diversification, resulting in one of the most effective, efficient and transparent organizations in the industry today,” board member and Recording Industry Association of America chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement. “Mike has identified and executed on opportunities to redefine service and efficiency. Moreover, he has guided the expansion of our business beyond its initial core to include administration of direct licenses for sound recordings and brought the company into the music publisher services sector through the acquisition of CMRRA. He is a tireless advocate for musicians and the industry.”

Besides SoundExchange, Huppe, a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School, also serves on the executive committee of industry lobbying organization musicFIRST and the community advisory board for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University School of Law.

Update: This story originally stated SoundExchange had distributed $5 million since 2011. The figure is $5 billion.