In likely boon for Apple Music, Copyright Royalty Board raises rates on free music services

“In news which could well be good for Apple Music, but bad for rival free streaming music services, the federal Copyright Royalty Board has ruled that ad-supported internet radio companies such as Pandora must pay higher royalty rates to artists and record labels,” Luke Dormehl reports for Cult of Mac.

“From next year, Pandora, iHeartMedia and others will pay 17 cents for every 100 plays of a song on their free tier. This fee will increase over the following four years in line with inflation,” Dormehl reports. “The net result is that things are being made tougher for steaming music services operating on free tiers, which Apple Music notably does not do.”

Dormehl writes, “While I can’t imagine that Apple wants to pay more royalties than it has to, it’s also in the great position of not having to rely on its music service to make the majority of its revenue, as is the case for rival music and Internet radio services.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Musicians and the music industry undermines themselves by allowing their music to be streamed by “free,” ad-supported outfits.

Analyst: Apple Music already has 8 million subscribers, will hit 20 million in 2016 – December 17, 2015


  1. This is not something to cheer for. On the surface it benefits artists. In actuality, most if not all of this increased revenue will go to the the copyright holders, i.e. record labels, leaving the true artists and bands with almost no additional revenue at all.

    1. There is no downside to this for the composer. As someone who writes music for a living, this is EXCELLENT news. A lot of the increase will go to the people that actually wrote the music. I fail to see a downside to this. If an artist doesn’t make the actual songs, they should really start. If you’re a band and you don’t write you’re own music, well, That’s insane.

      1. I can see the hypothetical downside being that the free tier services would possibly start disappearing due to the prohibitive cost, reducing the exposure to the artists’ work.

        In reality, that isn’t going to happen. Even if the free-tier services start dropping out, people will still continue to listen to music, and they will simply pay whatever is necessary in order to get it.

          1. Apple has already shown that people are willing to pay for music. After years of illegally downloading it via Napster, Limewire and others, people gladly went back to paying for it when Apple gave them simple and easy way to do it.

            As long as there is a simple and easy way to buy (or subscribe) music, people will gladly do it.

  2. Having a streaming radio that doesn’t pay a fair price as an excuse to legally stop the thieves stealing is rubbish and it fixes nothing for the artist!
    Artists don’t want to be paid almost nothing for free streaming companies to build a business and while these streaming sites are around less music will be directly purchased from the artists being streamed.
    if streaming companies can not do it at a credible and fair rate for artist to get paid then they need to get out of the business as milking artist to build a business model is not acceptable.
    if the music is not streamed it will more lightly be purchased and those that steal will eventually get caught or locked out of there thieving ways.
    streaming companies are doing nothing for artists.
    Good music will always found but if its free it will rarely be bought.
    I can’t wait for the streaming companies to fold!

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