Spotify's tumultuous relationship with songwriters continues...
With the ongoing battle to pay songwriters more per stream, Spotify have identified that in 2018, they overpaid Publishers, and in turn, their Songwriters.
The mistake came when valuing the difference between current payment plan options on the streaming service. Spotify currently offers 4 different subscription services; Free, Premium, Family & Student. In question is the cut-price Student subscription and the Family subscription allowing up to six people use the same account for just $14.99 per month.
As we know, this isn’t the first feud Spotify have found themselves in when it comes to paying artists/songwriters. In March, the company, alongside other competitor streaming services like Pandora & Amazon, began their appeal against pay raises for songwriters in the USA. The original proposal was that Spotify would raise the payout for mechanical streams by 44% or more over the next 3 years.
Based on prior rates, multiple publishers now owe Spotify money after an overpayment based on old rates from 2018. They want that money back though, the balance will now be treated as an advance to publishers/songwriters, recoupable from the 2019 payout. As we can expect, this has not gone down too well amongst industry professionals, lobbying for change.
The new tariffs set mean that a Family Plan stream will count for 1.5 Premium Subscribers per month, a Student Subscriber’s stream will be worth on ½ of a Premium member.
The spat is sure to continue…