Musicians ask Spotify to triple royalty payments following coronavirus gig cancellations

An online petition has been set up by musician Evan Greer

Musicians are asking Spotify to triple their royalty payments following the loss of earnings that has arisen through the coronavirus pandemic.

As reported on The Guardian, an online petition has been set up by musician Evan Greer who has asked the steaming giant to triple its royalty rates for artists permanently.

Green has also asked Spotify to donate $500,000 to Sweet Relief, a charity in California providing financial assistance to artists and music industry workers during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Advertisement

A spokesperson for Spotify told The Guardian: “There’s no question this is a challenging time for our creator community and we are working to assist them through MusiCares’ Covid-19 relief fund to provide much needed assistance.”

The spokesperson also told The Guardian that they’d made a portion of their advertising revenue “available for governments and charities to share information about safety during the pandemic.”

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spotify Daniel Ek
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spotify Daniel Ek speaks onstage during Spotify Investor Day at Spring Studios on March 15, 2018 in New York City. CREDIT: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Spotify

Last June, Spotify claimed it overpaid royalties to publishers and they subsequently sought a refund.

They launched a legal appeal against a ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) which agreed to increase streaming royalty rates for artists by 44%, a move which The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) described as “shameful” and tantamount to “suing songwriters” at the time.

A spokesperson for Spotify said last year: “According to the new CRB regulations, we overpaid most publishers in 2018. While the appeal of the CRB decision is pending, the rates set by the CRB are current law, and we will abide by them –  not only for 2018, but also for future years in which the amount paid to publishers is set to increase significantly.

Advertisement

“Rather than collect the 2018 overpayment immediately, we have offered to extend the recoupment period through the end of 2019 in order to minimise the impact of the adjustment on publishing companies.”

Whilst Spotify does not reveal now much it pays artists, several artists have shared how much they receive over the years, with some seemingly showing how the figures appear to have decreased over time.

As the virus crisis escalates, events continue to be cancelled. Yesterday (March 18), Glastonbury announced that the 2020 festival was cancelled.
Later on, the Eurovision Song Contest followed suit, cancelling the event for the first time in its 63 year history.
Advertisement
Advertisement