Apple has filed a proposal with the US Copyright Royalty Board that would see all music streaming services pay the same royalty rate to songwriters.

Apple says that all on-demand streaming services should pay songwriters a flat rate of 9.1 cents for every 100 streams of a song. That means a per stream rate of $0.00091, which equates to $910 per million streams. 

This would be a simpler payment method than the complex system currently in place and ultimately equal higher payments for artists from streaming services.

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in the US wants to set statutory rates for downloads and interactive streaming services from 2018. Apple, along with Spotify, Google, Pandora, Amazon and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), were all asked to file proposals by Friday 15th July. The CRB has yet to make the filings for the other five bodies public.

Apple's plan would equal bigger artists payments for rivals, notably Spotify. Spotify currently pays out less for music streamed by users of its free tier. Apple is against a free subscription offering and doesn't offer one with Apple Music (though it does have a three-month free trial), and its proposal would mean the same payments for every stream.

In Apple’s filing it says “an interactive stream has an inherent value, regardless of the business model a service provider chooses”. Several high-profile artists have withheld music from Spotify, supposedly due to the low level of payments from the service’s free tier. 

More after the break

Notably, the The New York Times suggests Apple's own proposal may not apply to Apple Music. Apple made direct deals with music publishers for the launch of its own service, paying slightly above the standard rate. This could mean changes to royalty payments won't affect Apple Music. 

Source: The New York Times via Music Business Worldwide


Friesiansam's picture

Another attempt by Apple to

Another attempt by Apple to squeeze out the free services.

Infiniteloop's picture

......Because Apple believes

......Because Apple believes things should be paid for, which is why they set up iTunes in the first place when the rest of the world was just stealing music by downloading it for free.

Why is paying for things bad??

daveh75's picture

You forget Apple

You forget Apple expected artists to foot the bill for the free 3 month trials of Apple Music at launch,  and it took Taylor Swift and Co shaming them to change their tune...

Friesiansam's picture

There is a big diference

There is a big diference between stealing music and streaming from legitimate services such as Spotify. I'm sure Apple would be perfectly happy if Spotify Free promoted Apple's paid-for service, instead of Spotify's own paid-for service.

jjbomber's picture


Apple want to force the competition out of business so that they can fleece their customers. All backed by Whathifi of course!

spiny norman's picture

I'm sure that support means a

I'm sure that support means a lot to Apple, but I wonder how obviously grasping the company needs to get before some elements of the tech press decide they want to break free from the spin cycle?