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Spotify Wants A Refund – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Spotify Wants A Refund

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A year ago the CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) set new royalty rates audio streamers are to pay songwriters every time one of their works in played. The math is pretty straightforward, so you’d think a global tech company like Spotify would have their financial house in order.  But as it turns out, Spotify just realized that they’ve been supposedly overpaying on these royalties since 2018.  So now they want a refund.

In their press statement Spotify states, “According to the new CRB regulations, we overpaid most publishers in 2018.”  They don’t say how much they’ve overpaid by or how the miscalculation was made.  Most industry insiders think it has to do with Spotify’s student subscription plan.  According the new CRB regulation students only count as half a listener – so maybe Spotify has been paying for full student listeners all along?

Needless to say, Spotify’s announcement went over like a fart in church with the songwriter community.  “Spotify is once again showing its true colors,” said a music-publishing industry source. “It’s just a heartless tech company that doesn’t really care about artists.”

It’ll be interesting to see how this one gets resolved.


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