“This deal guarantees a raise for CDs, vinyl and downloads, but we know songwriters need a lot more to be successful – they need fairness.”
The following editorial comes from David Israelite, President and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA). NMPA is the trade association representing America’s music publishers and their songwriting partners.
A new settlement between the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) holds great promise for songwriters in the fight for fairer rates.
Every five years, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) sets the rates for the next five-year period. Although the majority of this fight is between copyright holders and streaming services, since streaming constitutes the bulk of today’s market, a significant part of this process involves setting prices for physical products, CDs and vinyls, and downloads.
These ownership models have shrunk considerably over the years, but still encompass a significant portion of the business.
In order to focus valuable time and resources on streaming’s biggest battle and avoid costly and risky litigation, it is beneficial for publishers, songwriters and labels to try to reach an agreement by themselves. themselves, apart from the procedure and because of the hard work. and the compelling voices of countless songwriters across the country, we have come to an agreement with a historic rate increase.
The settlement we submitted to the court will give songwriters a 32% raise for what’s called “Subpart B,” which includes CDs, vinyl, and downloads. The proposal would raise the royalty rate from 9.1 cents to 12 cents and include an annual cost-of-living adjustment to combat inflation. These increases would take effect for the years 2023-2027.
The leverage needed to close this deal is a direct result of the songwriters’ submissions during the comment period, which the CRB judges found to be persuasive and influential. This new settlement outcome will allow creators to benefit from price certainty, better and fairer royalties, and provide needed inflation increases without incurring significant litigation costs.
Although these physical products and downloads represent less than 5% of current publishing and songwriting revenues, this sector is important and some segments are even growing. The growth of vinyl is an exciting development and proves the enduring value of owning music. While we know streaming will continue to dominate, we shouldn’t overlook these trends.
Extrapolating current trends into the near future, we see that by the end of the next five-year period, 2027, physicals and downloads could be less than one percent of the market, however, which is important about this settlement, and the judges’ reviewing it, is that it indicates a tendency to increase the overall value of songwriters’ contributions.
In this next walkthrough, we’re up against the biggest tech companies in the history of the world. Spotify, Amazon, Apple, Google and Pandora are battling to cut streaming royalties to the lowest rates in history. At the same time, Spotify and Amazon continue to pursue their unprecedented appeal of the 44% price hike that we won in 2018. The time and resources required to wage this two-pronged war are considerable and prove that this process is broken.
“We shouldn’t have to spend nearly half a decade without certainty about actual streaming rates, and we shouldn’t have to spend millions of dollars year after year battling tech giants with unlimited pockets for fund these fights.”
We shouldn’t have to spend nearly half a decade with no certainty about actual streaming rates, and we shouldn’t have to spend millions of dollars year after year battling tech giants with endless pockets to fund these fights.
One of the most important benefits of this settlement is that by reaching an agreement outside the CRB, the record companies will not enter the procedure and will fight against us alongside the streaming giants, thus allowing all of our resources to go to higher streaming. rates.
Again, the credit for getting us to this point, where a beneficial deal could be struck, goes to the individual creators who demanded better from the record companies and had a huge effect on the judges.
As we look to the summer and fall when the trial begins for streaming tariffs, it’s reassuring to know that after some disagreements, we are united as music creators and their advocates.
This will be the most important period of a generation for the future of music and the song economy. This deal guarantees a raise for CDs, vinyl and downloads, but we know songwriters need a lot more to be successful – they need equity. Streaming Equity. The judges saw the need to increase Subpart B rates. Hopefully this is a sign of even better things to come. Stay tuned.The music industry around the world