Copyright Royalty Board gives song writers a 44% hike over 5 years from music streamers

Copyright Royalty Board gives song writers a 44% hike over 5 years from music streamers
The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board has put some more money into songwriters' pockets. The board has just awarded tunesmiths a 43.8% hike in royalties from streaming music services over the next five years (from 2018 to 2022). The annual increases will range from 10.5% to 15.1%. The royalties hike was the result of a trial that took place between March and June of last year. That legal battle pitted the National Music Publishers’ Association and the Nashville Songwriters’ Association International against music streamers Google, Amazon, Apple, Spotify and Pandora.

Even though this is the largest increase awarded in the history of the Copyright Royalty Board, the writers were hoping to earn a royalty of 15 cents per 100 streams, or $1.06 for each user per month. On the other hand, the streamers were hoping to reduce the amount of money paid to songwriters, so this is obviously a big win for those on the creative side of the equation. In addition, complicated formulas used to determine royalties have been replaced by two possibilities. Payments made to writers will be the greater of either a percentage of revenue, or total content costs. The latter are payments made to record labels.

The ruling gives the writers $1 for every $3.82 that goes to the label. That is the best slice of the pie ever earned by songwriters. As for the streamers, the change might not have any effect on the bottom lines of Google, Apple and Amazon, but it could have a negative impact on the bottom line at Pandora and Spotify. The latter is the largest of the streamers with over 70 million paid members, about twice the number that number two Apple has signed up.

source: NMPA via Variety
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