Spotify, Apple, YouTube lose as Copyright Royalty Board raises streaming music royalty rates

“Songwriters will get a larger cut of revenue from streaming services after a court handed technology companies a big defeat,” Lananh Nguyen and Lucas Shaw report for Bloomberg. “The Copyright Royalty Board ruled that songwriters will get at least a 15.1 percent share of streaming revenues over the next five years, from a previous 10.5 percent. That’s the largest rate increase in CRB history, according to a statement from the National Music Publishers’ Association.”

“The decision is a major victory for songwriters, who have long complained they are insufficiently uncompensated by on-demand music services,” Nguyen and Shaw report. “Streaming services account for the largest share of music industry sales in the U.S., while global streaming sales jumped 60 percent in 2016, according to the IFPI.”

Nguyen and Shaw report, “The decision was made after a trial in which NMPA and the Nashville Songwriters Association International represented music publishers and songwriters against Alphabet Inc., which owns YouTube and Google; Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Spotify Technology and Pandora Media Inc.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The big losers here are Spotify and Pandora. Apple, Amazon, and Google each have enough money to pay songwriters 15.1% until the end of time.

15 Comments

  1. I want to see how much of this decision was manipulated by the frequently despicable RIAA, who’ve been blatantly attempting to live in the 20th century despite it having ended 18 years ago.

    IF an actual 15.1% of streaming revenues ACTUALLY goes to musicians, then BRAVO! If that means the cost of streaming services goes up, then tough! Musicians deserve the dough! Keep in mind that I’m a big Pandora fan and have been championing their survival for over a decade.

    But if this is just another money grab by the RIAA, then consider me highly annoyed, yet again, at the abuse consistently inflicted by the RIAA in pursuit of corporate ca$h at the expense of the art of music. IOW: I’m waiting for further details regarding this judgement.

    My usual point regarding streaming services:

    They’re FREE MARKETING! They offer the opportunity to hear music we’d NEVER hear from RIAA dummies or terrestrial radio station rats. Corporate music sux, more than ever. The modern jews of music are hidden behind the biznizz marketing moron manure.

    1. The composers deserve the largest share- not the performers or the label. Without the written song there would be nothing.

      Example:
      Singer who cannot write- Art Garfunkel
      Singer who can write- Paul Simon
      After the duo broke up, who had the bigger career. It was not the guy who was a better singer (Garfunkel). It was the guy who could write music (Simon).

      1. Yup! I use the word ‘musician’ to cover anyone involved with the tunes, creation to playing. But I would have been wiser to has stuck with the term ‘song writers’. We still live in a backwards age with regard to writers. The front-humans, actors, singers, lead guitarists, get the glory and gossip gliss while the actual auteurs, authors, composers and lyricist as typically ignored as background noise.

    2. Streaming is NOT free marketing. It’s how music is now being distributed for consumption. In fact, streaming revenue passed CD sales for the first time this year.

      The problem is that the internet has convinced people that you don’t need to pay for anything — certainly not news and not music. That’s why newspapers are laying off reporters (if not shutting their doors) and musicians now make virtually no money on their records, and count on touring to pay the bills (30 years ago, it was exactly opposite; tours were marketing vehicles for the records).

      When you control the playlist (as with Apple Music, and Spotify and Pandora, to a large extent), it’s no longer marketing, it’s our music. I don’t mind paying for it.

      1. (Prelude: This is just me chattering about the subject. I’m thankful you wrote and poked my brain with new thoughts).

        Streaming IS free marketing and I consider that blatantly OBVIOUS within my realm of music use over the Internet.

        As I pointed out, no one is going to learn any new, different, interesting, creative artists outside of corporate approval listening to terrestrial radio. Real radio is a wasteland across most of the world. There are some delightful exceptions, one of which I post HERE:

        http://wber.monroe.edu/site/html/index.php

        They are run by the local BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services) for providing kids with radio experience. But they’re run under the manifesto of playing only ‘MODERN MUSIC AND MORE’ and the slogan of ‘THE ONLY RADIO STATION THAT MATTERS’. I entirely agree. I can hear actual NEW and interesting music there, unlike 99.9% of corporate radio stations.

        Pandora serves the SAME purpose in allowing one to hear music related to one’s interests. That’s how I first heard the musician Estroe (aka Esther Roozendaal). I now own every piece of tuneage she’s ever released. She’s BRILLIANT and entirely antithetical to the corporate radio mandate. Bless Pandora!

        HOWEVER, when it comes to Apple Music and Spotify and the other Pay-To-Rent music services, those clearly have a very different market and business system from Pandora. I personally don’t use them as I don’t see the point. I don’t rent music.

        As to the Internet certainly enabling the ‘EVERYTHING IS FREE’ mindset, I entirely agree. It’s both enabling and a sickness. I do my personal best to support and promote those Internet resources I use. That includes my providing references / attributions regarding other people’s work on the Internet.

  2. This is why streaming music is bullshit and I for one disagree I think these artist today don’t deserve anywhere near 10% let alone 15% most of their music sucks. They already make too much money. Look at the comedy show of the awards program last night, I didn’t watch it and never do but you would think but you would think the world is coming to an end

    1. Whether you like the music or not, musicians are professionals — and most of them barely scrape by. Revenues for the music industry as a whole are less than half of what they were 15 years ago — and that’s BEFORE you factor in inflation!

      Like everything else in our society, only the top 1% make money — and they make ALL the money in this industry. Whether that’s fair or not is a topic of another conversation, but increasing the royalties for composers is a nice start towards sharing some of the revenue with those that deserve it.

  3. This is why streaming music is bullshit and I for one disagree I think these artist today don’t deserve anywhere near 10% let alone 15% most of their music sucks. They already make too much money. Look at the comedy show of the awards program last night, I didn’t watch it and never do but you would think but you would think the world is coming to an end

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