New Rates Proposed for Streaming Services 

Look for the fees paid to artists from streaming services to change later this year.

Billboard reports that SoundExchange has filed an appeal to the Copyright Royalty Board’s (CRB) ruling on webcasting rates. The organization argues the rates proposed by the board “do not reflect a fair market price for music and will erode the value of music in our economy. We are therefore moving forward with an appeal to the decision.”

The CRB, which reviews the rates paid to musicians on a per-stream basis, set a rate of $0.0017 per play on free streaming services and $0.0023 for paid subscription-based services for the time period spanning January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020.  The new rates reflect a 21.4% increase for free streaming services (the current rate is $0.14 cents per stream) but a decrease of 13.6%, down from $0.25 per stream, for paid subscription services, Billboard notes. The CRB is eligible to make small modifications to the streaming rates each December and will tie the rate to the consumer price index, meaning if the streaming rate is going to change for 2017, the new price will be announced by the end of this year.

The CRB published its new rates in the Federal Register, the US government’s public listing of all new regulations and proposed modifications to existing policy, on May 2, giving the public 30 days to comment or appeal. SoundExchange asked the CRB to reconsider its rates and, according to Billboard, sent in arguments on why the rates were unsatisfactory. “The CRB responded, according to a source familiar with the matter, by saying it would change the things it agreed with SoundExchange on in its final determination, but leaving out things it disagreed upon; and that there would be no further review.”

SoundExchange has yet to file its formal appeal; announcing its intent to appeal before the end of May gives the organization additional time.

 

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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