New law to force Apple Music and Spotify to pay artists more for their songs

New law to force Apple Music and Spotify to pay artists more for their songs
Eddy Cue, the current senior vice president of Internet Software and Services at Apple, is famously credited with the creation of the $0.99 song when he negotiated royalties the nascent Apple Music will pay to artists for each play.

Fast forward a few years, and the Spotifies, Apple Musics, and countless other tune streamers, have brought said artists to the coupon line, forcing them to rely on endless tours and live performances for revenue instead of the studio albums of yesteryear. That, and selling merch.

Lo and behold, Congress, of all entities, is now trying to right those wrongs that started with the 99-cents-a-pop negotiating tactic. A digital-era copyright law called the Music Modernization Act (MMA) just passed the House of Representatives, after being cleared in the Senate, and is on its way to President Trump's desk to be enacted into law.

When enacted, it will mandate the creation of an agency that will be managing digital copyrights and royalties that are to be paid to singers and songwriters by Apple Music, Spotify, and the like. By cataloging all performers and the somewhat convoluted intellectual property rights over their work, the agency would streamline the process of obtaining licenses for streaming said works. It will be staffed jointly by music company and streaming services reps. 

The resulting huge database will then be licensed in clearer terms to streamers, for better artists' payout schemes, including for music created before 1972 which is currently being streamed without any royalties to speak of. Apple Music just passed 21 million subs in the US, growing at a much faster rate than Spotify on this side of the pond, so the MMA legislation has been long overdue.

source: WSJ (paywall)



1. notfair

Posts: 721; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

so the end use will pay more because corporations will not accept a dent in their profits. gotta keep that powerpoint graph up high, always growing never stop. i hate this idiotic trend. the rich people want to be richer and the poor pay them; also every price is hiking up but the salaries.

6. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Torrenting FTW. This is why you vote less government, not more....

2. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

They get paid enough! This will eventually be passed on to the consumers who will see the price for these services increase! Idiocy on the highest level!

3. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

This is sad for spotify as they don’t have enough profit in streaming music. Apple is using apple music to lock up costumers in their seamless ecosystem.

4. deleon629

Posts: 451; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

As if that’s not enough, they also just recently bought the Shazam song identifying app. This means they’ll also manage to guide the foreign iPhone users to their exclusive western artists and vise versa, because the songs don’t even have to be the exact songs shazamed: Apple’s search engine only needs to provide a song that “sounds similar to” the song heard if they so choose. Their best attempt at setting up a monopoly since the DRM days of the iPod classic

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4110; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Android users of Apple music, just keep creating Apple IDs with new emails every three months. Free for life! I've done it three times to see if anything has improved but because it hasn't I haven't continued in months. Not even worth free for me.

7. gamehead unregistered

So much for letting the market decide prices.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.