Music Publishers, Songwriters Will Now Earn More Royalties from Streaming Music Platforms

Apple Music is a popular service for Apple, just like music streaming platforms are popular in general, and music publishers and songwriters have been vying for better royalties as a result.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a year-long royalty case taking place in the United States has finally come to an end, with music publishers and songwriters coming out on the winning end. The case sees those two groups now earning more than 40 percent more from music streaming royalties.

Up to this point, music streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, and others, have had to pay out 10.5 percent of their revenue to music publishers and songwriters. Now, though, after the court ruling, those platforms will need to fork over 15.1 percent of their revenue.

“A federal copyright board has raised the music streaming royalties for songwriters and music publishers by more than 40% to narrow the financial divide separating them from recording labels.

The decision announced earlier this weekend by the National Music Publishers’ Association resolves a dispute pitting songwriters against steadily growing music streaming services sold by Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora.”

It is noted in the report that companies that are focused almost entirely on music streaming options, like Spotify and Pandora, will be hit the hardest on a financial side. Other companies, like Apple, Amazon, and Google, that offer music streaming platforms in addition to the other popular goods and services they sell, will likely not be impacted by the new decision in the slightest.

This is not the first time that Apple has wanted to change the music streaming royalties. Back in July of last year the company was proposing “simpler music streaming royalties” for songwriters specifically.

Our Take

This is good news for publishers, and especially songwriters. These revenue decisions were made when streaming was just gaining steam, and now that buying individual albums isn’t as popular as it once was –with streaming services picking up the lion’s share of attention these days — it’s about time those royalty options changed with the times.

[via The Wall Street Journal]