Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora & More Appeal Ruling to Increase Songwriter Royalties

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Since the downfall of the CD and shift from MP3 to streaming, many artists have been struggling to make decent money from their music releases. Due to this, the Copyright Royalty Board has issued a ruling to increase the money songwriters receive from music streaming platforms by 44%. However, Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora are all appealing the ruling, a move which National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has publicly called “shameful” and have said they are essentially “suing songwriters”, although they are appealing the ruling to increase royalties and not actually suing songwriters. See his full statement below.

Apple is the only major platform that is not appealing this ruling.

“When the Music Modernization Act became law, there was hope it signaled a new day of improved relations between digital music services and songwriters. That hope was snuffed out today when Spotify and Amazon decided to sue songwriters in a shameful attempt to cut their payments by nearly one-third.

No amount of insincere and hollow public relations gestures such as throwing parties or buying billboards of congratulations or naming songwriters ‘geniuses’ can hide the fact that these big tech bullies do not respect or value the songwriters who make their businesses possible.

We thank Apple Music for accepting the CRB decision and continuing to be a friend to songwriters. While Spotify and Amazon surely hope this will play out in a quiet appellate courtroom, every songwriter and every fan of music should stand up and take notice.” – David Israelite, CEO of the NMPA

Spotify, Pandora and Google came together for a joint statement saying “The Copyright Royalty Board, in a split decision, recently issued the U.S. mechanical statutory rates in a manner that raises serious procedural and substantive concerns. If left to stand, the CRB’s decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners. Accordingly, we are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the decision.”

Stay tuned for more info.