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NMPA warns streaming services to respect 44% royalty-rise

A recent ruling by the US Copyright Royalty Board set out the royalty rates that on-demand music-streaming services must pay songwriters over the next five years. The key figure: a 44% rise in those royalties over that period.

Now the boss of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) David Israelite has warned streaming services that they should not appeal against the rates. “The digital music companies now have 30 days to decide whether to appeal that ruling, and in effect declare war against songwriters. Apple has announced it will not appeal. The others won’t say,” he wrote on Facebook. “We will know soon whether some digital companies want to be partners or want to attack the songwriters who make their businesses possible.”

Note: Spotify addressed a question about CRB rates in the company’s earnings call yesterday. CFO Barry McCarthy said that when it was retroactively applied in Q4 2018, it was a “net benefit” for Spotify, but that it will have a neutral effect in the short term, and then “by 2020 it starts to incrementally erode the margin”. He did not give any indication of whether Spotify plans to appeal the CRB’s decision.

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