Time for a new rise to streaming rates, surely?

Lots of people seemed to be terribly pleased with themselves over the weekend, following Friday’s announcement by the USA’s Copyright Royalty Board that it was standing by its decision to increase headline rates to American songwriters from streaming services between 2018 and today.

Music Business Worldwide explain the story pretty well – but the gist of it is Spotify, Amazon and Google launched a legal appeal in 2018 after the CRB announced it was increasing headline rates for songwriters from 10.5% to 15.1%. We’re sure we aren’t the only ones bemused that companies earning billions of dollars somehow think they can’t afford to increase how much money they pay out to people who make streaming services possible.

Perhaps it’s the spirit of rebellion in the water, but Ears To The House has a distinctly socialist feeling about this. Firstly, songwriters are still being ripped off, even with these increases in their rates – but then again, so are most people whose music is on streaming services. And secondly, isn’t it time now for another review to increase those rates even further?

Because the harsh truth is the world has changed since 2018. Inflation in the UK is currently running at 9.1% – and to provide a few other examples, the USA has it running at 8.6%, Germany at 7.9% and Australia at 5.1%. So with the cost of living increasing quite drastically in certain areas, isn’t it time the streaming companies helped those who make it possible for them to exist by paying them more money?

We don’t think it’s an unreasonable request for companies like Amazon and Google, who make billions every year. The same applies with the likes of Universal, who paid their chief executive over £200millon last year – and the fact Spotify has never turned a profit should be a problem for Spotify alone, not the artists on it…

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