The Copyright Royalty Board of the U.S. Library of Congress has taken steps to increase royalties for songwriters and the music publishing companies they use to collect licensing fees on their behalf.
The new rules, announced over the weekend by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), dictate that over the next five years, streaming music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and others must pay 15.1 percent of their revenue to songwriters and publishers. That’s up from just 10.5 percent before the ruling.
As one publication put it, that’s an increase of more than 40 percent which should help narrow the financial divide between songwriters / publishers and record labels.
Variety notes that for every $3.82 the label gets, writers / publishers will receive $1. It’s still not a fair split that may otherwise be achieved in a free market, says NMPA president and CEO David Israelite, but it’s the most favorable balance they’ve ever seen under the compulsory license.
Israelite also applauded the court’s ruling regarding a late fee which will force music services to pay songwriters faster or be subject to a significant penalty.
Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Executive Director Bart Herbison said it was a long and difficult process but songwriters and music publishers together presented a powerful case for higher streaming royalty rates. Ultimately, he said, songwriters desperately need and deserve [these] rate increases.