NMPA and NSAI propose big boost in on-demand streaming publisher payments

NMPA canvasThe National Music Publishers Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International have submitted their proposal for the rates publishers will receive from interactive music services in the 2018-2022 period. The groups’ submission to the Copyright Royalty Board includes a three-part formula for digital licensing rates.

The first prong is a minimum rate of $0.0015 per stream, and the second is a fee of $1.06 per subscriber per month. The third prong is a revenue-share option, either 15% of revenue, minus the songwriter performance royalty, or 33% of revenue paid to labels for masters licensing, minus the performance revenue royalty pool.

The first element is an effort to put pressure on free, ad-supported streaming tiers, which currently pay a lower per-stream fee. The other two sections include higher rates and fees than publishers currently receive.

The CRB is still collecting proposals for the licensing rates from relevant parties, but the process has already been contentious. The NMPA and NSAI filed a motion to prevent Sony Music Entertainment from participating in the decision. Sony’s proposal included a 12% rate paid by interactive services and cut the per-subscriber rates entirely. Some other submissions have also been shared publicly, including a flat rate proposed by Apple.

The rates decided on by the CRB will govern any payments outside of direct licensing agreements between publishers, labels, and digital interactive services.

Anna Washenko


  1. Extortion. Pure extortion. CRB..Songwriters..go pound sand. Streaming services are not paying for themselves let alone this extortion payment. What a joke. Audio streaming services are now designed only for the corporate elite, so for this wondrous “digital dashboard” it will be empty of many local services. Terrestrial radio is where its at. This is nothing but pure “pay to play”. Streams can’t deliver effective local broadcast services. Will be relegated to “boutique satellite radio status”, and you did it to yourselves. Greed and arrogance.

    • Most listeners who stream these days do it from established major music platforms like Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music, rather than small privately run webcasters. Reason why: the major platforms have features that let listeners have more control over what they want to hear.

      • Control is going to cost you. Maybe not now, but soon. That’s what this story is about. Get ready to pay for the ability to choose what you want to hear in 2018. The cost of the music is rising, especially on-demand.

        • Tiered pricing is the best idea for these services.


          ◾Super fan aficionados tend to spend between $10 and $30 a month but many are now shifting down to $9.99 a month.

          ◾Mainstream music fans spend less frequently and at best average less than $10 a month, most typically just a few $. $9.99 is just too much for them as is regular spending, so they end up streaming for free.

          ◾Passive fans used to spend occasionally now typically spend nothing and are core users of free streaming, You Tube especially.

          • Sounds like a good idea to me as well. Not every fan has the same level of spending.

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