Copyright Royalty Board approves 15.35% royalty rate increase for songwriters by 2027.
Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Songwriters and music publishers, 2023 means more money for you.

In a decision released on Friday, December 30, 2022, the Copyright Royalty Board approved the music industry’s 15.35% royalty rate increase for songwriters and music publishers. This is a landmark decision, and closes a chapter to a years-long battle amongst songwriters/music publishers and digital streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

The companies and representatives from both the streaming services and musicians included National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA, for music publishers) and Digital Media Association (DiMA, for streaming services).

What does this mean?

This royalties increase for songwriters and music publishers means that, starting January 1, songwriters and publishers will see increasing rates year-over-year until 2027. The settlement, called “Phonorecords IV,” covers the period between 2023 and 2027. The digital service providers that the CRB’s ruling affects includes Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Pandora, and Spotify.

The rate will increase slowly over the next five years until it has reached its approved rate at 15.35% in 2027.

Thanks to the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision, music publishers will now be paid a minimum figure in relation to what each service, like Apple Music and Spotify, pays for the recorded music rightsholders (like record labels).

According to Music Business Worldwide, “music publishers may be paid via a ‘Total Content Costs’ calculation. This ensures that song rightsholders (publishers, songwriters) are paid a certain minimum figure in relation to what each service pays recorded music rightsholders in a year for their rights.”

David Israelite, NMPA’s president and CEO, is excited and ecstatic about this historic success for songwriters.

“Starting January 1, songwriters will enjoy the highest rates in the world and the highest rates in the history of digital streaming,” Israelite said in a statement after the CRB’s ruling. “Thanks to the many songwriter advocates who worked hard to make this happen. There are still many challenges ahead to ensure that songs receive their proper value, but the future is bright.”


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