Music Business

Spotify, other streamers dismiss songwriter pleas, demand even lower royalty rates

Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google/YouTube, and other streamers have just filed requested 2023 -2027 songwriter royalty rates with U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB).

While not public yet, David Israelite, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) told MBW:

“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.”

“It is disappointing, but not surprising, given how they have treated songwriters over the years, including their continued assault on the rate victory that was achieved in 2018 which they are still appealing four years later.”

The filing from the streamers comes at a time that songwriters and music publishers are fighting got higher streaming royalty rates both before the CVRB and in the courts.

In 2019, the CRB has approved a 44% increase in rates from 10.5% to 15.1% between 2018 and 2022. But soon after, Spotify, Google, Amazon, and Pandora (sans Apple) filed to oppose the ruling.

NMPA calls for higher rates

As a counter-proposal, the NMPA is calling for even higher rates a source told MBW. It includes:

  • 20% percentage of revenue; or
  • 40% of what record labels and artists receive; or
  • $1.50 per subscriber; or
  • $0.0015 per play

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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