Forbes: Apple, Spotify And Other DSPs Pay $424 Million In Unmatched Royalties For Publishers, Songwriters

The Mechanical Licensing Collective has received a total of $424.38 million in accrued historical unmatched royalties from digital service providers, together with corresponding data reports that identify the usage related to these royalties. 

Twenty digital service providers—including Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google GOOG +3.1% GOOG +3.1%, Pandora and Spotify—separately transferred accrued historical unmatched royalties to the Collective, which was designated by the U.S. Register of Copyrights in July 2019 pursuant to the Music Modernization Act of 2018. The MLC, as of January 2021, is responsible for administering the new blanket compulsory license for the use of musical works by digital music services.

“It’s a big day, this is what we’ve all been waiting for,” says Michelle Lewis, executive director of Songwriters of North America (SONA), who notes the sum “is more than we were expecting.”

The largest royalties, by a long shot, were paid out by Apple Music, at $163.34 million, and Spotify at $153.23 million. They’re followed by Amazon Music at $42.74 million, Google at $32.86 million, Pandora at $12.36 million, Soundcloud at $10.17 million, Tidal at $6.8 million and iHeartRadio at $1.34 million.

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