Music streaming now accounts for the majority of music reproduced around the world. Undoubtedly, songwriters turn to streaming platforms to make a certain, if not the majority, of their income. Music streaming services including Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Pandora, and Google have all filed documents with the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) suggesting new royalty payout rates for artists. Unfortunately, it’s not good news.
Music streaming services are now looking to lower the mechanical royalty payouts to songwriters. The CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), David Israelite stated,
“Not only do they propose rolling back rates and terms to erase all gains over the last 15 years, but they actually are proposing a structure worse than at any point in the history of interactive streaming.”
Throughout the last few years, songwriters have been fighting to get their fair share in royalties as these major streaming services keep undercutting them in percentages. The Copyright Act in the United States requires the Copyright Royalty Judges to conduct proceedings every five years to determine the mechanical royalty rates paid by streaming services to songwriters and publishers. These recent proceedings aim to set songwriter streaming royalties for 2023-2027. Israelite continued,
“Songwriters should all take note of what these giant technology companies propose – their proposals prove how much, or how little, they truly value the creators they rely on.”
These companies are now under fire as they proposed the lowest royalty rates in history. It is unfathomable how companies such as Spotify and Apple continue to cut down royalties when the amount of money they rake in is on another level. The UK’s major labels and the UK’s competition watchdog will be carrying out a “market study” assessment to investigate this cutback.
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