Skip to main content

The Copyright Royalty Board in the United States has approved a 15.1% royalty rate for the years 2018-2022, up from 11.4%.

These royalties are paid to songwriters and publishers by streaming services like Spotify. The news precipitated an appeal from four major providers of streaming services: Apple, Amazon, Pandora and Google, who argued in a joint statement that the decision "raises serious procedural and substantive concerns," per Variety.

Last month, the streaming services asked the Copyright Office for additional time to pay for the increased royalty rate. They've argued that since the streaming royalties are split 75/25 amongst the record labels and music publishers, the rate increase should come from the record labels' share. 

The streaming services didn't walk away empty-handed. The total content cost or TCC rate has been capped, according to Variety, and the definition of bundling (family plans and other packages) has been switched back to an older iteration.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles


"Progressing Gender Representation In UK Dance Music": A Look Into the Jaguar Foundation's Report

In collaboration with Sony Music's Global Social Justice Fund, the organization examined how female and non-binary artists are represented across the music industry.

Avicii Martin Garrix

Avicii's "Waiting For Love" Eclipses 1 Billion Streams, Martin Garrix Pays Tribute In Heartfelt Post

Martin Garrix is credited as a songwriter and producer on "Waiting For Love," the opening song on Avicii's sophomore album, "Stories."

"Today the court reaffirmed the headline rate increase we earned four long years ago, confirming that songwriters need and deserve a significant raise from the digital streaming services who profit from their work," David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) told Variety. "We will fight to increase the TCC, or percentage of label revenue, which amounts to an insurance policy for songwriters, in the next CRB and will also fight for stronger terms regarding bundles."

The NMPA is reportedly arguing for a 20% headline rate for the period of 2023 to 2027.

The debacle surrounding royalty rate increases isn't over yet. The legal battle over the 2023-2027 rates is only just beginning, and the Copyright Royalty Board is expected to reveal its initial decision after Labor Day.


songwriting songwriters

Songwriters Get Hit In the Wallet by Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora... Again

David Israelite, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, said major streaming services "have proposed the lowest royalty rates in history."

Navigating the songwriting process and staying out of legal trouble

Copyright Law: Navigating the Songwriting Process and Staying out of (Legal) Trouble

Prevent hiccups in this lengthy process by not infringing other artists' rights.


Roblox and NMPA Reach Agreement on Music Usage, Settle $200 Million Copyright Lawsuit

The deal provides Roblox the flexibility and time to negotiate individually with the NMPA's clients.


Enforcing Rights Just Got Much Easier for Copyright Owners

Rights-holders may be awarded damages by submitting an infringement notice with the Copyright Claims Board.

NAMM 2018

Industry News Round-Up: NAMM, Songwriter Royalties, Spotify Remixes, and More

We've seen some amazing technology come from NAMM 2018.

Navigating the songwriting process and staying out of legal trouble

The COVID-19 Impact on Publishers and Songwriters—A Look Ahead to 2021

What does the post-COVID-19 musical landscape hold for music publishers and songwriters?


"Race to the Bottom": U.S. Representative Drafts Letter to Congress for Music Streaming Royalty Reform

"Streaming music platforms' payouts per stream are minuscule, and declining each year—leaving working musicians with little of the income generated by these platforms."