Sony/ATV's Bandier Takes Aim At Low Streaming Royalty Rates In Memo To Staff
December 12, 2014 at 4:31 AM (PT)
In a memo to staff lauding the company's GRAMMY nominees, SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING CEO MARTIN BANDIER took a moment to criticize the low publisher and songwriter royalties paid by streaming music services.
THE WRAP reports that BANDIER used the examples of JOHN LEGEND's "All of Me" streaming 55 million times on PANDORA but generating only $3,400 in royalties, and PHARRELL WILLIAMS' "HAPPY" played 43 million times on PANDORA and earning just $2,700 in royalties. BANDIER said that the "unjustifiably below-market royalty rates" result in one million plays on PANDORA earning about $60, which he called "totally unacceptable." He added that SPOTIFY's rates are "equally dissatisfying," pointing at SPOTIFY's growth -- an over 70% increase in the number of streams in the past year -- not being matched by royalty payments.
"We at SONY/ATV want these digital music services to be successful because they are a great way for music fans to listen to music and have the potential to generate significant new revenues for everyone," BANDIER wrote. "However, this success should not come at the expense of songwriters whose songs are essential for these services to exist and thrive. That is why I have made it my No. 1 priority to address this issue and ensure songwriters are fairly compensated for their work. I will not rest until the present system is reformed to allow this to happen."