Songwriters strike out at Spotify in open letter

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Songwriters strike out at Spotify in open letter

The letter, which was published via Billboard, expresses the group of songwriters disappointment at Spotify’s decision to appeal a 2018 decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board which ruled in favour of paying songwriters more royalties. The decision, which determined that the mechanical royalties of songwriters would be increased from 10.5% to 15.1% over the span of five years, was largely opposed by many streaming platforms, including Spotify Amazon, Pandora and Google. Notably, Tidal and Apple Music did not oppose the decision.


A number of signees listed in the open letter were included in Spotify’s 2017 Secret Genius awards, an initiative launched to honour the behind-the-scenes music industry professionals. The list includes the likes of Chic’s Nile Rodgers, Childish Gambino collaborator and Black Panther film score writer Ludwig Goransson, hip-hop producers T-Minus, Murda Beatz and Frank Dukes, and Greg Kurstin and Ed Drewett, who have written for the likes of Adele, One Direction, Sia and more.


The letter states the collective outrage of the songwriters, who claim Spotify has backflipped on their intentions to create a positive musical community for an easy dollar – “We’re hurt and disappointed. You created a songwriter relations team and ingratiated Spotify into our community. We know that you are not the only DSP appealing the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rate determination. You are, however, the only provider that made us feel we were working to build a modern music industry together. Now, we can see the real reason for your songwriter outreach.”


Ouch. Hopefully Spotify changes their mind on this one. Read the letter in full here.



Reacquaint yourself with the history of music streaming here.