The latest songwriter news sees streaming giants Spotify and Apple Music having to increase streaming royalties payments to comply with a new ruling. The decision comes after four months of hearings between March and June of 2017.
Currently, streaming services set aside 10.5% of their monthly revenue to pay to songwriters and publishers. This proportion is set to rise incrementally over a 5 year period, meaning 2019’s rate will be 11.4%, 2020’s 13.3%, etc.
The ruling will also increase the speed of royalty payments by levelling fines against services who don’t act quickly. The rules for payments have also been simplified, removing the accounting gymnastics that previously allowed streaming platforms to pay out lower rates.
Streaming services have been heavily criticised for paying very little royalties to artists, despite relying solely on their music to make money. This rate increase has been seen as a victory for publishers, even if the ratio still works more in streaming services’ favour.
More change could be on the horizon, as the US government debates the Music Modernisation Act, which would overhaul royalty rules once again.