Spotify has four more lobbying firms now supporting its interests in Washington. The newly registered firms are focused on competition, licensing, and “platform neutrality,” sources told Politico. It also added at least two firms to provide similar services in the EU. This isn’t the streaming music company’s first move to beef up its arsenal to handle legal and government issues. In February, Spotify put out the word that it was interested in hiring a VP for in-house lobbying skills. However, this is its first time contracting with outside firms to protect its interests.
It’s likely that this push for representation in D.C. stems from the number of big legal issues that intersect with Spotify’s core business and are currently in discussion on the Hill. Several pieces of legislation are being considered that could impact how much Spotify and other streaming or broadcasting platforms would have to pay in royalties (see our coverage of the Local Radio Freedom Act, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, and the Songwriter Equity Act). Also, the Copyright Royalty Board is in the midst of its decisions about rates for the 2016-2020 period. With so many laws (and so much potential money) on the table, it’s little surprise that Spotify wants to be able to play hardball.