Royalties are one of the several ways that musicians earn money through their music. This is why it was a big deal when Apple initially refused to pay musicians royalties during the three month trial period of Apple Music. This essentially meant that musicians had to work for “free” during those three months.
Apple later had a change of heart, thanks in part to Taylor Swift, but now it seems that issues regarding royalty rates have come up again. Due to a decision made by the Copyright Royalty Board, the royalties that musicians command has increased where it will see an increase in royalties of 43.8% over a five-year period, but it seems that quite a few streaming services are fighting against it.
Services such as Spotify, Pandora, Google, and Amazon have issued appeals against the CRB where in a joint statement, the company writes, “The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), in a split decision, recently issued the U.S. mechanical statutory rates in a manner that raises serious procedural and substantive concerns. If left to stand, the CRB’s decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners. Accordingly, we are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the decision.”
It seems that while most of the music streaming services are taking part in this appeal, Variety reports that Apple will actually be sitting out of this. The company has previously proposed their own take on royalties but we’re not sure if there are plans to implement it.