Music creators want royalty hikes from Spotify but streaming service profits are thin

the american stream
Last week, Variety reported that Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon (Apple Music was notably absent) were appealing a ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) granting songwriters a 44% increase in payouts from streaming services.

National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) President & CEO David Israelite was quick to blast the music streaming services’ attempts to “sue songwriters in a shameful attempt to cut their payments by nearly one-third.” Israelite’s comments stirred up an outcry from music industry insiders.

Spotify isn't suing anyone

On Monday, Spotify issued a statement in response to criticism of their CRB appeal. Notably, Spotify clarifies that the company is not suing songwriters -- Spotify is appealing the CRB decision because they believe there are flaws in how the payout rate was determined. 

The appeal should not come as a surprise, as the decision would cut into the profits of the streaming services (which are razor thin in Spotify's case). 

Why can't we be friends?

Although Spotify would certainly prefer to be in the good graces of the music industry, the fact of the matter is that music industry is increasingly dependent on streaming services for revenue -- in the first half of last year, streaming made up three-quarters of all music industry revenue:
That being said, the cut that artists, producers, and writers take home from streaming is absurdly small -- about $.005 per play.

Unfortunately for music creators, it’s unclear where the money for higher royalty payments would come from.

Despite bringing in billions, Spotify is barely profitable (their first profitable quarter was last month) because of how much it already pays back to creators, labels, and publishers. 
It's the big labels (namely Universal, Sony, and Warner) who are profiting the most from streaming. Which explains why Spotify wants to act as a label-like platform, allowing artists to own and distribute their own music without having to give labels a cut.
in other news
  • Dirty 30 On the web's 30th birthday Tim Berners-Lee, widely considered the father of the World Wide Web, discusses his ongoing efforts to make the internet a better place
  • Spinal Zap Experts at Mayo Clinic were able to help a man who had been paralyzed for 5 years stand and walk with assistance using an implanted spinal stimulator 
  • Bacon Box? Shark Tank guest lands $400k for Moink, her ethically-sourced meat subscription service
  • Civil Discourse Trevor Noah defends his meeting with Tomi Lahren, saying she received death threats after being a guest on The Daily Show
fresh jobs

What's the Happs?

Based in Venice, Happs is a live-streaming mobile news network. Happs is building a global community of contributors armed with smartphones and a passion for storytelling. Think news meets Snapchat stories. Here’s a recent segment

See open roles on our job board.
Latest Podcast

Episode #9 - How Blake Overholt went from selling cigars in the Florida Keys to Silicon Valley recruiting

In our latest episode we chat with Blake Overholt. Blake grew up in Sacramento, California before heading off to UCSB and majoring in Global Studies. He is now an experienced tech recruiter working for the SF-based CRM software company Insightly. 

Blake, as many people do, had a roundabout path to his current position-- his first job out of college was as a cigar salesman in the Florida Keys. Now as a recruiter, Blake was able to share some amazing insights about how to stand out in the application process.
Apple Podcasts
Yours truly,
Zac Cherin
Brendan Uyeshiro
Brendan Uyeshiro