U.S. Music Royalty Fee
I haven’t studied my XM Satellite Radio bill for a few months. Starting a few months ago, they added a “U.S. Music Royalty Fee” to my bill, adding $1.98 per month.
They explain it here:
Music royalty rights were established by Congress and are the product of the Copyright Act. Unlike terrestrial radio, both SIRIUS and XM are required to pay copyright music royalties to recording artists, musicians and recording companies who hold copyrights in sound recordings (the actual recording of a work). These royalties have risen dramatically as a result of a decision of the Copyright Royalty Board.
So terrestrial radio gets to skip the fee. I’m guessing they have more lobbyists and political influence. This reminds me of additional state taxes levied on satellite TV providers.