Apple will not appeal songwriter royalty increase, digital music competitors Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon

“Spotify, Google, Pandora and Amazon have teamed up to appeal a controversial ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that, if it goes through, would increase payouts to songwriters by 44%, Variety has learned,” Chris Willman reports for Variety. “A joint statement from the first three of those companies reads: ‘The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), 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.'”

Willman reports, “Sources say that Apple Music is alone among the major streaming services in not planning to appeal.”

“David Israelite, president/CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association, had previously said that the digital companies would be ‘declaring war’ on the songwriting community if they appealed the royalty increase,” Willman reports. “Israelite did single out Apple for praise for not participating in an appeal. ‘We thank Apple Music for accepting the CRB decision and continuing to be a friend to songwriters,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Message: Unlike Spotify, Pandora, et al., Apple cares about songwriters.

If the appeal fails:

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.MacDailyNews, January 29, 2018

SEE ALSO:
Spotify, Apple, YouTube lose as Copyright Royalty Board raises streaming music royalty rates – January 29, 2018

12 Comments

  1. How is this OK for Apple to do this this time? It still irks me that they got in trouble for doing the same exact thing in the publishing industry with giving more royalties to authors when Amazon was forcing authors and publishers to sell their books cheaper? How will the DOJ look at this later and assume Apple is “colluding” with artists?

    1. The higher music royalties were set by a US Government agency. I don’t think the DOJ is going to be suing the Copyright Royalty Board. The issue in the book case was not that Apple was paying higher royalties, but that it was allegedly acting with the publishers to fix the prices charged to consumers.

  2. The back story: –
    Apple was the cause of music becoming cheap and disposable by chopping up albums into bits and the whole MP3 Pandora’s box was opened to abuse Artists creative works and the income they derived from those works.
    OK the cat was let out of the bag and from then it has continued to be a case of companies doing whatever they want with our music for their own personal gain as it’s become a numbers game with micro pennies in payments and revenue for all involved except the core players (Apple Amazon Google Spotify) they are the hub of all the streaming all those micro payments go through them so the millions of streams around the world make them loads of money but Artist don’t get any real value compared to the days of selling a whole album.

    Apple have always claimed to be the friend of the Artists and music and as such it would be very difficult for them to oppose an increase in artist royalties for every stream without showing that they are no different than the other Goliath companies who want to keep the lowest payments to artist intruder to offer music as cheap as possible to the millions of people who want to pay the least amount a month to stream as much as they like.
    The whole model of streaming is about numbers and micro payments to the creators.

    This model of streaming has been proven to abuse artists income from their creative investment and only benefit the streaming companies.

    So, royalty payments need to be higher for the works created by the artists in order for the system to be fair and keep creativity and investment throughout the music process.

    The twist!
    Apple are no so much supporting Artist by staying out of trying to overturn the royalty rate increase its just another clever business strategy with a win win for Apple.

    If the rates increase for Artists (Which is fair and right)
    Then the whole streaming model of all you can eat for $9.99 a month will become much harder to do as then the streaming companies would also no be making enough to run the whole business. People would have to pay more for an all you can stream model and Artist would get paid a fair amount for every stream.

    Apple are fine with this because it would eliminate the competition to offer such low or free (Spotify) deals to the public for streaming. Apple can afford to pay a fair price for streaming but others cannot as their model relies on paying as little as possible to Artist for using their music.

    Apple will stay in with the Artists and also squeeze the competition who have been ripping off the Artists since the beginning of the whole streaming mode started.

    The truth is the current model these streaming companies offer is based on ripping off Artists in their rightfully due royalty payments.

    The price must go up and the deals must be fair and we will get a better balance between people who want to purchase the Albums or single to play as and when they want or to rent a streaming contract as a fair price to stream whatever they choose.

    For those who won’t pay any more than the current pricing structure, you should know that this model was always about big companies abusing the whole music creation and royalty system for their own and possibly your benefit.

    This is why the law is changing in regards to the amount due for using/streaming the creative works of the Artists.

    check my website as my music is not available to stream on any network only for sale until this mess is fixed.

    1. LOL, Apple wasn’t “the cause of music becoming cheap and disposable by chopping up albums into bits”. Remember Napster? Without iTunes, artists would have had all their music stolen for free.

      1. LOL RIGHT….Napster, limewire, sharebear, kazaa, and so many others were out letting people download for free. It was iTunes that made it possible for the artists to make money off the digital downloads.

    2. We don’t owe musicians a lavish lifestyle. They just make songs. It’s not that special or important. Even if they didn’t get paid anything, people would still make songs, because music preceded the “music industry” by thousands of years. Making music is just something humans want to do, and would do for free. And if those musicians can’t afford their private jets anymore, can’t afford their Hollywood mansions anymore, can’t afford their prostitutes anymore, can’t afford their expensive drugs anymore, I’m not going to shed a tear on their behalf.

      1. Growing and selling food is just something that people like to do, so nobody can object to looting a grocery store.

        I live near Austin, the “live music capital of the world,” except that most of our local singer-songwriters can’t afford housing anymore because the high-tech immigrants from the coasts have driven the prices out of reach. The only affordable housing is out in the suburbs, so all the roads are clogged. The creatives have the same right to make a living as anybody else.

    3. {Apple have always claimed to be the friend of the Artists and music and as such it would be very difficult for them to oppose an increase in artist royalties for every stream without showing that they are no different than the other Goliath companies who want to keep the lowest payments to artist intruder to offer music as cheap as possible to the millions of people who want to pay the least amount a month to stream as much as they like.}

      Music streaming firms such as Spotify and Pandora do not pay the same royalty for both free (ad-supported) music and subscription streaming.

      Royalties paid (on a by song basis) by ad-supported services is a fraction of that paid by subscription services.

      If the CRB decision is upheld ad-supported services will disappear as ad revenue doesn’t pay enough to support those services WITHOUT a much lower royalty rate. So-called “free” streaming music is being subsidized by subscription fees. Higher royalties paid to songwriters will make this arrangement unsustainable.

      Apple has pushed for equalizing the royalty rate for subscription services and “free” services for some time. If upheld this is going to dramatically impact (negatively) those appealing the decision.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.