Friday, October 22, 2021

Streaming Services Propose “Lowest Royalty Rates” For Songwriters

Several major streaming services have proposed the “lowest royalty rates in history” ahead of a royalty rates review in the US, according to

David Israelite, president/CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) says that music streamers including Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Pandora and Google have petitioned for the lowest royalties to date for 2023-2027.

His comments to Music Business Worldwide (MBV) last week preceded filings to the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which sets the mechanical royalty rates paid by streaming services to songwriters and publishers. Under the US’ Copyright Act, Copyright Royalty Judges are required to conduct proceedings every five years to set new rates.

Israelite has claimed that streamers have put forward the “lowest royalty rates in history”, saying that he was disappointed to learn of the apparent proposals but wasn’t shocked.

“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,” he told MBW.

“We will be fighting to raise significantly what streaming services pay songwriters, and we will now see with full transparency to what degree Spotify, Amazon, Apple, YouTube and Pandora are trying to cut what little they currently pay.

Digital Media Association (DiMA), which represents Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube and Pandora, issued a statement after the filings.

Garrett Levin, President and CEO of DiMA, said: “The headlines each and every day demonstrate how much streaming and streaming services continue to drive ever-growing revenues for publishers and performing rights organizations, massive investments in publishing catalogs, and innovative tools and features that connect songwriters to fans in ways never possible before.

“This CRB proceeding, like any other, does not happen in a vacuum. ‘Mechanical’ licensing is just one of the multiple, necessary licenses for streaming services within a single segment of publisher and songwriter revenue streams. And that itself is one segment of the complete digital music economy.

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