Music publishers say DSPs demand ‘lowest royalty rates’ of all time



Washington, DC’s James Madison Memorial Building, which houses the US Copyright Office.

Ahead of the Copyright Royalty Board’s mechanical rate determination for 2023 to 2027, National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) President and CEO David Israelite issued the first salvo, claiming that music streaming services demand “rates. lowest royalty rates in history ”.

David Israelite recently took to social media to take strong criticism of the streaming services’ mechanical pricing proposal, after writing a number of different posts on the subject over the past week. On October 13, for example, Israelite informed her Instagram followers that “Spotify, Amazon, Apple, YouTube and Pandora will tell court [the three-judge CRB] what they think they should pay songwriters for the next five years. And yesterday, Israelite reported that the streaming services had “submitted their proposal” (the files remain sealed but Digital Music News confirmed they have been submitted).

As initially mentioned, the Israelite retaliated against these proposals, relaying both on Instagram and Twitter: “We now definitely know what digital streaming services think about songwriters who make their business possible. Amazon, Spotify, Apple, Pandora, and Google offered the lowest royalty rates in history.

“Not only are they proposing to cut rates and terms to wipe out all the gains over the past 15 years,” the NMPA director has continued for nearly 17 years, “but they are in fact proposing a structure worse than n at any time in the history of the interactive.

“It’s disappointing, but not surprising, given the way they have treated songwriters over the years, including their continued assault on the rate victory that was achieved in 2018, which they still do. appeal four years later.

“The next time you see a billboard, paid advertisement, or token gesture from a streaming service claiming to value songwriters, remember their actions speak louder than any hollow gesture. . This fight has only just begun, ”concludes the message of approximately 140 words from Israel.

Bearing in mind the demands reported by the streaming services – as well as the remarks of Israelites and the (ongoing) battle highlighted for the 2018 mechanical rate hike – the National Music Publishers’ Association, in a proposal that its own, would seek to increase payments from DSP publishers to 20% of turnover in 2023-2027, according to sources familiar with the subject.

It should also be noted that the mechanical tariff proposal reported by NMPA also encompasses possible compensation in the amount of $ 0.0015 per piece, 40% of payments forwarded to record labels / master record owners, or 1 , $ 50 per subscriber – whichever is greater (including 20 percent of revenue), calculated monthly, according to sources.

Of course, streaming services will no doubt argue that they are already paying out billions of dollars (and, in turn, a substantial portion of their revenue) to creators. Then there is the thorny question of how much more is paid to record companies – and the efforts of Israelites to minimize the conflicts of interest involved in pretending to fight for songwriters while also representing big mega-publishers. owned by record companies like Sony Music Publishing.

More generally, it will be worth following closely the high-stakes negotiations on mechanical royalties in the future, and it should be noted in conclusion that the CRB as well as the major publishers themselves have been criticized and called for transparency to songwriters and associated organizations as for some time.



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