Spotify, Google, Pandora and Amazon have teamed up to appeal a controversial ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that, if it goes through, would increase payouts to songwriters by 44%, Variety has learned.
Note one big name missing from that list. Apple.
Sources say that Apple Music is alone among the major streaming services in not planning to appeal — as confirmed by songwriters’ orgs rushing to heap praise on Apple while condemning the seemingly unified front of the other digital companies.
Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International: “It is unfortunate that Amazon and Spotify decided to file an appeal on the CRB’s decision to pay American songwriters higher digital mechanical royalties,” he said in a statement. “Many songwriters have found it difficult to stay in the profession in the era of streaming music. You cannot feed a family when you earn hundreds of dollars for millions of streams.”
Israelite did single out Apple for praise for not participating in an appeal. “We thank Apple Music for accepting the CRB decision and continuing to be a friend to songwriters,” he said. “While Spotify and Amazon surely hope this will play out in a quiet appellate courtroom, every songwriter and every fan of music should stand up and take notice.