By Paul Resnikoff • February 6, 2019
The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has officially published a significant streaming royalty rate increase for songwriters and publishers. Will it be challenged?
Last year, songwriters and publishers scored a major increase in streaming royalty rates. Now, that 44% rate bump has been officially published by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board, though streaming services have 30 days to challenge the increase.
Ahead of any challenge, major publishers are issuing stern warnings to Spotify, Amazon, and other streaming music services.
“The Copyright Royalty Board publisher today the Final Rates and terms for songwriters for mechanical royalties (Decision was announced a year ago),” National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) president David Israelite declared.
“NMPA and NSAI [Nashville Songwriters Association International] fought hard to increase songwriter royalties by 44%+. The digital music companies now have 30 days to appeal that ruling, and in effect declare war on songwriters.”
The obvious next question is whether any of the streaming platforms will appeal the ruling.
Israelite’s aggressive tactic is a pre-battle strike, with threats of a ‘war’ potentially cooling any plans to challenge the ruling. Whether that works is anyone’s guess: earlier, mega-platforms like Spotify, Pandora, Sirius XM and others haven’t been shy about challenging royalty rates and terms they deem unfair, especially when investors stand to lose money.