Yesterday (March 7), it emerged that four major owners of digital music services – Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora – had lodged legal appeals against the US Copyright Royalty Board’s recent decision to raise streaming royalties for songwriters (and music publishers) by 44%. That royalty rise, which previously looked locked in, is now in serious jeopardy.
Apple Music, in contrast, has accepted the new rates, and declined to challenge what’s viewed as an important pay hike for songwriters.
Remember when Kendrick Lamar and (reportedly) other artists threatened to pull music from Spotify over the arbitrary ‘hate conduct’ ban policy? Spotify quickly backtracked. This might be another opportunity for artists to show Spotify and the streaming industry who really needs who more.
And, as with privacy, Apple continues to brand themselves as the company that does the right thing. I’ll contain my cynicism (which I have for any corporate organization) and say ‘good on them.’