Copyright Royalty Board dramatically increases rates for songwriters

NMPA and NSAI declare victory

The following is a press release issued by NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) on Saturday, January 27, 2018, concerning the increased percentage of revenue paid to songwriters.

Washington, D.C. – Early this morning the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) released its ruling on mechanical rates for songwriters for 2018 – 2022. This decision is the result of a trial that took place between March and June of 2017 with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI), representing the interests of music publishers and songwriters against Google, Amazon, Apple, Spotify and Pandora.

‘Largest songwriter rate increase’ in CRB history

The court’s decision includes a significant increase in the overall percentage of revenue paid to songwriters from 10.5% to 15.1% over the next five years – the largest rate increase in CRB history. Additionally, the CRB removed the Total Content Cost (TCC) cap, giving publishers the benefit of a true percentage of what labels are able to negotiate in the free market resulting in significantly higher royalties for songwriters. The CRB also increased the TCC rate resulting in the most balance between record label and publishing rates in the history of mechanical licensing. In addition, the CRB granted a late fee which will dramatically alter the licensing practices of digital music companies.

Click here to read the full release at the NSAI website.

Bart Herbison. Photo: NSAI

“Songwriters desperately need and deserve the rate increases resulting from the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) trial.  The CRB was a long and difficult process but songwriters and music publishers together presented a powerful case for higher streaming royalty rates. The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) thanks our songwriter witnesses Steve Bogard, Lee Thomas Miller and Liz Rose whose testimony was compelling.” – Bart Herbison, NSAI Executive Director

To read an in-depth review of the impact of the court ruling published by Variety magazine, click here.

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