Spotify won’t like Apple’s new streaming music royalty proposal

apple proposes download equivalent streaming pay music or itunes gift card
Apple has submitted a new proposal to the United States Copyright Royalty Board regarding streaming royalty payments, one which executives at the tech giant hope will simplify the manner in which rights holders are paid for streaming music plays, according to Billboard.

Streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, and others currently pay publishers and songwriters based on a complicated formula designed to pay out between 10 and 12 percent of streaming services’ overall revenue. That percentage is determined based on backroom negotiations with record labels and copyright holders, and is difficult for everyone involved because of a lack of standardization.

Apple wishes to simplify the whole process, by paying 9.1 cents per 100 streaming plays — essentially making each 100 streams equal the royalty rate of a single paid download. This would make accounting simpler industrywide, and create a transparency of payment never before seen in the digital music age.

But it would also seriously hinder industry members who like the revenue-based streaming model — players like YouTube and Spotify, who operate free ad-supported streaming. Because free services generate very little revenue, those services don’t have to pay out as much.

If Apple’s proposal were to become law, many free streaming services would be too financially hindered to remain in business. For labels and songwriters, this could actually be a good thing. Many industry members have expressed overt interest in curbing free streaming wherever possible, as it doesn’t make anyone any money.

Apple Music wouldn’t be hindered by new royalty decrees, as its service is and has always been pay-only. And musicians would likely enjoy a massive increase in transparency regarding pay-per-play, as even top pop stars weren’t privy to their label’s backroom negotiations with major services.

As of right now, the Silicon Valley company’s proposal is years from becoming reality, as the suggestion comes as the Copyright Royalty Board is in the early days of determining statutory rates for streaming music from 2018 to 2022.

Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Annihilation,’ ‘True Detective’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Annihilation, the start of a new season of True Detective, and more.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Home Theater

Mobile masters: Tidal’s better-than-CD MQA tracks come to Android

Audiophile-grade music tracks and streaming music services don't come together very often, and when they do, it's not always easy to find a device that plays them. That's no longer the case as Tidal's MQA tracks now work on Android.
Mobile

From true crime to comedy, here's our list of the best podcasts around

When you aren’t in the music mood, podcasts can be your ear candy. Whether you love to stay up-to-date on the latest news or want to know what’s happening in sports, you’ll find something on our must-listen-to podcast roundup.
Mobile

Music junkie? Here are the 24 best music apps for consuming and creating tunes

We rummaged through the iOS and Android app stores to find the finest mobile music-creation and music-consumption apps in existence. No matter if you're on Android or iOS, here are the best music apps.
Home Theater

Mobile audio gets an upgrade thanks to new Sonarworks apps

Sonarworks is used by audio engineers around the world to get more accurate sound from their headphones. Today, the company launched Android and iOS apps for the same ability on mobile devices.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.