If you’ve been following the ongoing row between music creators and a number of digital streaming services about songwriter compensation, then you probably would have heard about the recent proposal by Apple, which also swiped at Spotify. No worries if you didn’t, we’ve got you covered as usual.
Just last week, Apple, in a move that was interpreted to be a swipe at Spotify in particular, laid out a plan that it said would simplify how songwriting royalties are paid. The proposal was made (in private) to the Copyright Royalty Board and posited a flat royalty rate of 9.1 cents across the board, for every 100 plays of a song.
If that amount sounds higher than what currently gives, that’s because it is. It is significantly higher than the amount paid out by Apple’s main rival, Spotify. It would also circumvent the rigmarole surrounding how musicians are paid for their creations. Currently, a number of rules and regulations make the royalty payout process by digital streaming services, such as Apple, Spotify, Tidal, and other platforms, hard to track and often not very fruitful for music creators.
Apple’s proposal comes as a number of artists have thrown their support behind Apple Music since its launch last year. Big names such as Taylor Swift prefer the Apple model because, unlike Spotify, it charges a monthly fee to users who want to stream music. Spotify, although having a larger audience at the moment, only charges about 30% of subscribers who listen music, using what is called a ‘freemium’ model.
As you can imagine, if this rate proposal is adopted, it could possibly score a minor victory for songwriters, many of whom feel their music is being devalued by Spotify and YouTube, et al.
What do you think about this bold proposal by Apple?