Music Business

Spotify Agrees To $30 Million Settlement With Nat’l Music Publishers Assoc. Over Unpaid Royalties

Spotify$Spotify's use of unlicensed songs is the subject of several lawsuits, two of which are currently seeking class action status.  Today the music streamer offered another path to payments that many are likely to take in the form of a settlement negotiated by the National Music Publishers Association.

NMPAThe NMPA and Spotify today announced a settlement for music publishers to claim and receive royalties for "unmatched" compositions used on Spotify in the U.S.  Informed sources put the pool of money ready to be paid by the music streamer at between $2o and $25 million.

In addition to identifying the rightful recipients of the royalties, the agreement establishes a bonus compensation fund reported to add $5 million to the settlement.

Starting in early April, copyright owners can identify works and receive money Spotify has set aside for their usage of unmatched works since the streamer launched through June of this year.  An online portal will allow rightsholders to claim works and request payments. Any royalties for songs that remain unmatched after each claiming period will be distributed to publishers and songwriters who participate in the settlement as a bonus.

"We must continue to push digital services to properly pay for the musical works that fuel their businesses"

"We must continue to push digital services to properly pay for the musical works that fuel their businesses and after much work together, we have found a way for Spotify to quickly get royalties to the right people," said NMPA President and CEO David Israelite is a statement. "I look forward to all NMPA members being paid what they are owed, and I am excited about the creation of a better process moving forward.”

Spotify legalLawsuits Will Move Forward

The agreement will not affect the royalties owed to any publisher or writer who does not choose to participate.  That's a choice that those in songwriting and music publishing community will have to make in the coming weeks.  Do they take the cash  now or do they stand behind lawsuits filed by fellow songwriters David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick hoping for a much larger payback later? 


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