Sony Music Publishing considering options over Spotify's US royalties reduction

Sony Music Publishing considering options over Spotify's US royalties reduction

Following the lawsuit against Spotify by the Mechanical Licensing Collective alleging unpaid royalties, Sony Music Publishing has now weighed into the dispute.

The case relates to Spotify’s assertion that its Premium Individual, Duo and Family subscription streaming plans are now classed as bundles in the US because those plans included access to audiobooks

In a letter to Sony Music Publishing songwriters and composers (published by Digital Music News), CEO & chairman Jon Platt wrote: “We are working with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and considering all options to enforce the improved rates that were achieved in CRB Phono IV.

“In addition, earlier this week, the NMPA sent a letter to Spotify putting them on notice that there are unlicensed videos, lyrics, and podcasts on its service, an important step to ensure that songwriters are being paid properly across all aspects of Spotify’s platform.”

It follows a recent complaint by the NMPA after Spotify used its audiobook bundling in the US to implement a lower mechanical royalty rate for songwriters. Other DSPs also pay that lower rate for bundling other services in addition to music in the US.

Responding to the NMPA’s letter last week alleging multiple forms of copyright violation, a Spotify spokesperson said: "This letter is a press stunt filled with false and misleading claims. It’s an attempt to deflect from the Phono IV deal that the NMPA agreed to and celebrated back in 2022. We paid a record amount to benefit songwriters in 2023, and we are on track to exceed this amount in 2024.”


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