Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Music industry avoids legal battle with new streaming royalty deal

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Music publishers, songwriters and musicians have signed a deal with streaming services for mechanical streaming rates in the US for 2023-2027, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has announced announced. The NMPA, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and Digital Media Association (DiMA) agreed on a 15.35 percent rate, avoiding a potentially contentious battle.

That’s only a slight increase from the 2018-2022 rate of 15.1 percent. It’s also less than expected, according to Variety, as the NMPA previously said it pushed for 20 percent. However, the agreement is also reportedly going to modernize the way the “bundle” rates offered to students and families are treated, and increase the so-called Total Content Costs to make up for some of the difference.

“This agreement… ensures that all parties will benefit from the industry’s growth and will be motivated to work together to maximize that growth,” the press release states. “Instead of filing a lawsuit and continuing years of conflict, we are not moving forward in partnership with the highest rates ever, guaranteed,” added David Israelite, CEO of NMPA.

Last time, a legal battle between the parties dragged on for three years. The 15.1 percent rate for the 2018-2022 period was set in 2018, but Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube and Pandora appealed the ruling, arguing it would be unsustainable for their business model. Publishers and songwriters predominated earlier this year, when the Copyright Royalty Board reaffirmed the 15.1 percent rate.

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