Music industry avoids legal battle with new streaming royalty deal

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) announced. The NMPA, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Digital Media Association (DiMA) agreed on a rate of 15.35 percent to avoid a potentially contentious fight.

That’s just a slight increase from the 2018-2022 rate of 15.1 percent. It’s also less than expected, accordingly diversity, as the NMPA previously said, it was pushing for 20 percent. However, the agreement will also reportedly modernize the way “bundle” fares offered to students and families are treated, and increase the so-called total content cost to make up some of the difference.

“This agreement…ensures that all parties benefit from the growth of the industry and are motivated to work together to maximize that growth,” the press release reads. “Rather than go to court and continue years of conflict, we instead move forward in cooperation with guaranteed highest rates ever,” added NMPA CEO David Israelite.

Most recently, a legal dispute between the parties dragged on for three years. The 15.1 percent tax rate for 2018-2022 was decided in 2018, but Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube and Pandora appealed the ruling, arguing it was untenable for their business model. Publishers and songwriters prevailed earlier this year when the Copyright Royalty Board confirmed the 15.1 percent rate.

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