In an ongoing battle over royalty rates across the world’s biggest streaming platforms including Amazon Music, Spotify, and YouTube, an increase in royalties will finally reach artists this year.
Originally decided in 2018, the new headline rate sees an increase from 10.5% to 15.1% over the past four years, from 2018 - 2022.
The Copyright Royalty Board confirmed the change on Friday earning musicians and artists a delayed victory after years of deliberation.
Streaming giants, also including services such as Pandora and Google, claim that the change would obstruct their business models with an argument that such companies already pay billions in royalties.
While the 44% increase in royalties is a win for musicians, the percentage of label revenue (TCC rate) has been capped, meaning publishers will only be able to receive a limited royalty rate.
"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,” said the president of The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), David Israelite.
“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,” he added.
It could be months before artists receive backdated paychecks, according to Bart Herbison of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), who said it’s “still unknown when songwriters will receive their payments”.
“The bad news is that the definition of “bundled services” and of total content costs, one of the streaming rate tiers, were not what we wished. We will return our focus to the next CRB proceeding which is already underway,” he added.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter