While music-streaming platforms can help make or break an artist, it doesn’t come at a cheap price. Mainly, if an artist is doing relatively decent, their payouts are more or less stunted and the streaming services take most revenue for themselves. In light of this situation to protect artists, the U.S Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has recently issued a ruling to increase songwriter payouts by 44%. Naturally in response, four music-streaming giants—Spotify, Google, Pandora and Amazon—have all stepped forward to appeal the CRB’s decision, understandably stirring great backlash for their actions. Having since come under fire, Spotify has now stepped forward with a response to the negative publicity.
In a blog post, Spotify defends themselves in a FAQ-style to explain their stance, mainly outlining the flaws in CRB’s rate structure.
“A key area of focus in our appeal will be the fact that the CRB’s decision makes it very difficult for music services to offer “bundles” of music and non-music offerings. This will hurt consumers who will lose access to them. These bundles are key to attracting first-time music subscribers so we can keep growing the revenue pie for everyone.”
Spotify would also explain that while they support an increase in CRB rates, the backing only extends up to rates rising to 15% between now and 2022, and under the stipulation that covers the right scope of publishing rights.
Subsequently, the public just isn’t quite buying the defense—some quick enough to boycott the services to hop on over to Apple Music, the only mega music streaming service not appealing the CRB. Although Spotify is correct to say that everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie, it shouldn’t come at the expense of the artist and songwriter. Hopefully, Spotify, along with these other streaming services, drop the appeal and share a little more of the pie with our starving artists.