Rolling Stone: Threats, Bullying and Misinformation: Inside Spotify’s Battle With Songwriters


Rolling Stone: Threats, Bullying and Misinformation: Inside Spotify’s Battle With Songwriters

Tensions within the songwriting and publishing communities towards Spotify are at an all time high. Earlier in the year, the Copyright Royalty Board voted on a well deserved pay increase for songwriters to earn more than 40% over the next five years from interactive streaming services. Amazon, Pandora, and Google along side Spotify, appealed this ruling and claimed the raise would, "harm both music licensees and copyright owners." Rightfully so, songwriters feel betrayed and to make masters worse, while Spotify publicily announced their stance on the matter, it's been said that songwriters, especially ones labeled as Secret Geniuses, were lavishly celebrated in a diversion to get them to "put down their weapons."

Exerpts from the article...

"In a blog post from Spotify explaining its appeal, the service said it actually supported songwriters earning more money - just not in the manner laid out by the CRB. "Music services, artists, songwriters and all the other rights-holders share the same revenue stream, and it's natural for everyone to want a bigger piece of that pie," Spotify wrote. "But that cannot come at the expense of continuing to grow the industry via streaming." And it's true that the industry is again enjoying years of consecutive growth after a long period of downturn, largely thanks to streaming services like Spotify."

Music publishers response to this?

"The writers are getting paid the least," says Richard Stumpf, CEO of Atlas Music Publishing. "If you look at the pie as 100, the label's taking 59, Spotify's taking 29, while the publishing side's only getting 12." "Unlike labels or artist, [songwriters] live under a compulsory license, so we can't say no [to the streaming services]," adds David Israelite, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers' Association, which represents publishers and their songwriter partners. "Three judges [who sit on the CRB] tell us the value of our songs. All we can do is fight within the system we're forced to live under."

Many hope that Spotify will drop it's appeal to patch up what's left of their relationship with creators but until then, the battle carries on.

To read the full article by Elias Leight from Rolling Stone, read here.