Professional songwriters are currently locked in a legal battle with the likes of Spotify and Amazon over how much they get paid in the United States. By next year, it could become an all-out war.
The current battle is taking place because streaming services have appealed against a rise in mechanical streaming royalties for songwriters. These services used to pay songwriters and publishers a headline royalty rate of 10.5% of their annual US streaming revenues. This “all in” number covered both mechanical and performance royalties. In November 2018, the government-mandated Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) said that, for five years from 2018 onwards, this “all in” rate would rise by around 1% annually, up to 15.1% in 2022.