Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the water — that all the players were coming together for the common good after realizing that the current state of the industry ecosystem was unsustainable for the people who actually MAKE THE MUSIC, we have yet another war on our hands. Don’t worry, the recently passed Music Modernization Act is still in tact and on the road to being implemented so that our royalties will be distributed fairly and transparently. This is something else:
Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora are appealing the Copyright Royalty Board’s 2018 decision to raise streaming royalties for songwriters by 44%.
Basically, the judges agreed that we were not being paid fairly, and made the first positive step in 100 years to correct that imbalance. But Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora are trying to undo it.
They are all despicable but Spotify is the worst actor in the bunch. Music is the only product Spotify sells. Our Music! That’s it! They’re a multi-billion dollar corporation who is sucking the crumbs off of our plates. The hypocrisy is that in the public arena, Spotify strokes the creative community with writing camps and lavish parties. They blast our faces (sadly, not mine 😟) on Sunset Boulevard Billboards proclaiming us a Secret Genius for writing such big hits and host award shows in our honor. Very nice. But what they don’t want to do…is pay us.
Spotify would have songwriters believe they have our best interest at heart. But it’s a most disingenuous PR campaign. Says Michelle Lewis (co-executive director of SONA), “Geniuses (but really Michelle, it’s “genii,”) are being used by Spotify to further their narrative.” Exactly.
Oh and also, it doesn’t take a genius to write a hit song. Plenty of High School drop outs have done so as well. So stop the patronizing.
This just in from “Genius” Ali Tamposi:
You might have noticed that Apple Music is the only major streaming services not included in the appeal. That’s because Apple has more respect for the creator and the value of music. They didn’t always compensate us for their 3 month trial period but thanks to an outspoken Taylor Swift they changed their tune. Hey, it’s a new world. We’re all learning. And gratefully, at least Apple is listening.
For years we’ve been trying to give Spotify the benefit of the doubt. No more. The streaming service claims that the CRB’s royalty rate rise decision “harms both music licensees and copyright owners.” My ass.
“I can promise you that no-one in the songwriting community is going to believe that Spotify cares, at all, about songwriters after taking this action,” Says David Israelite of the National Music Publishers Association.
So, it’s on, Spotify.
It’s not cool to be treated like sh*t by the company who depends on your content to drive their business. And we can do something about it: publicly shame them into dropping the appeal — just like we shamed Sirius XM when they tried to squash the MMA. And…cancel our subscription and switch to their rival — hey we can always re-up after they do the right thing.
This stuff gets tiring, I know. But the reality is, as long as there’s greed in the universe the wars will continue. Our community has to be prepared to mobilize at any given moment. Especially because we’ve proven that it works.
SONA, (Songwriters of N. America), the advocacy group about which I am always proudly trumpeting, will be deploying the #MusicArmy — executives, managers, songwriters, publishers, artists — who were involved in the MMA fight to the finish. If you were there, we’ll need you again. If you weren’t, we invite you to Follow SONA on Instagram and stand by for sharable slides and calls to action.
Let’s put on our boxing gloves and get busy. It’s time for another revolution.