If Google and Pandora have joined Spotify in Amazon in appealing against the US Copyright Royalty Board’s recent decision to raise songwriting royalties for streaming services, why were Spotify and Amazon the main focus for publishers’ ire last week?
David Israelite, boss of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has been explaining. “Spotify and Amazon are the bad actors; they drove the decision to appeal… It’s fairly clear to us that [Google and Pandora] didn’t want to to appeal, and are only doing so to protect their interests because Spotify and Amazon [objected]. So they get a pass,” Israelite told MBW in an interview. And Spotify in particular came in for criticism. “Songwriters are important business partners to Spotify, but they’re treated instead like indentured servants,” he claimed. “It’s insulting, it’s something that I think the songwriter community is getting fed up with, and I think this may be the final straw that breaks the back of [that] relationship.”