Apple is the only major streaming company not to appeal a royalties increase paid to songwriters, with Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon all battling to avoid a rise.
The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board said it wants to see songwriter royalty payouts increase by 44 percent around the world, and streaming giants are naturally concerned.
In January, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board ruled that it would increase streaming rates by 44 percent, meaning streaming services would pay songwriters and publishers 15.1 percent of their revenue, up from the current 10.5% of their streaming income.
Increase ‘harms music licensees’
Releasing a joint statement this week, Google, Spotify, and Pandora said that: “The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), in a split decision, recently issued the U.S. mechanical statutory rates in a manner that raises serious procedural and substantive concerns.
“If left to stand, the CRB’s decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners. Accordingly, we are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the decision.”
Every fan of music should take notice
Following the news that Apple won’t look to appeal the increase, David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association, said: “We thank Apple Music for accepting the CRB decision and continuing to be a friend to songwriters,” he said.
“While Spotify and Amazon surely hope this will play out in a quiet appellate courtroom, every songwriter and every fan of music should stand up and take notice.”
Apple Music: a growing success story
Apple Music launched in 2015 and has 56 million paying subscribers around the world as of December 2018.
In July last year, Apple Music overtook Spotify in paid subscriber counts for the first time, whilst Google, Amazon, and Pandora struggled to catch up to the two giants.
The company is expected to introduce a television streaming and magazine subscription service this month that may be bundled with an Apple Music subscription, giving Apple more power in the market and further encouraging music lovers to switch to its streaming offering.
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