Spotify Believes It Overpaid Artists In 2018, Demands Refund

Spotify has had a rough time making ends meet recently. Last year, artists and publishers grouped together in revolt of the low royalties they were receiving from Spotify and other streaming services. As a result, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board initiated a 44% increased payout between 2018 & 2022. Currently, Spotify, Google and Amazon is appealing the mandate, believing their pay is fair.

To make matters worse, Spotify is now claiming they overpaid artists and publishers in 2018 due to the CRB decision. With this bold statement, they are demanding a refund from each party. Instead of having each artist send over a check to Spotify, the company has its own resolution. Spotify plans to deduct funds from artists’ 2019 payouts. Now, artists that are fighting for higher payouts will end up losing more by the end of this year.

“I find it so hypocritical for a digital service that is appealing the CRB decision to then take advantage of the parts of that decision that benefit it.”

Many find Spotify’s actions shocking as artists and streaming services should be working hand in hand. “We shouldn’t be surprised” by Spotify’s greedy demand, says David Israelite, President and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association. It puts artists in a sticky situation where they really have no choice but to take the loss.

While streaming services by Google and Amazon have also appealed the CRB, Spotify is the only one asking for refunds. What do you think? Is this fair for hardworking artists?

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