On Saturday, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) announced that songwriters will get a pay raise from streaming services for the next five years, increasing their rate from 10.5 percent of revenue to 15.1 percent, a 43.8 percent increase. The shift, which is the largest increase in CRB history, came as a result of a dispute between the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the music streaming services run by Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Pandora.
The ruling also included a late fee for streaming services that don’t pay publishers and songwriters on time. “This is the best mechanical rate scenario for songwriters in U.S. history which is critically important as interactive streaming continues to dominate the market,” NMPA CEO David Israelite said in a statement.
Publishers and songwriters are still paid far less than music labels, however; labels take in $ 3.82 for every $ 1 for publishers and songwriters make. The NMPA was looking for a per-stream rate for songwriters — which likely would’ve shrunk that pay gap even further — but the CRB didn’t grant that request. The move comes on the heels of the Music Modernization Act, which would streamline music royalties and create a new agency that would collect and distribute royalties to rights holders.