Friday, December 12, 2014

Sony Boss: 'US Streaming Rates Are Unjustifiably Below-Market'

Martin Bandier
Sony/ATV boss Martin Bandier has used his artist's success at the Grammy nominations to highlight the "unjustifiably below-market royalty rates" paid by music streaming services in the US, according to

On the list of Sony/ATV nominees are Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Pharrell Williams, together with a host of songwriters who've contributed to titles up for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year.

The winners will be announced at the 57th Grammy Awards, taking place in LA on February 8.

"A Grammy nomination is an incredible achievement and we should be extremely proud of all our nominees as they represent the very best in their class. This success comes at an exciting time for the business as it moves from a physical and download world to a streaming one," said Bandier.

"However, the changing market also brings about many challenges for us as it adversely impacts our mechanical income. I cannot help but mention that these Grammy nominated songwriters continue to be paid unjustifiably below-market royalty rates by music streaming services in the US."

Bandier expressed concern that songwriters are currently not being paid fairly by digital services such as Pandora for their performance rights. Earlier this year, Pandora won a decision in ASCAP's own rate court to pay songwriters just 1.85% of its total income.

John Legend's All Of Me, which has a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance, was streamed 55 million times on Pandora during the first three months of 2014, said Bandier. That generated $3,400 in publisher and songwriter royalties.

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