Music Streaming Royalty Rates Going Up Slightly in 2018

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The Copyright Royalty Board has set rates for master recording copyright holders and non-commercial webcasters.

The Copyright Royalty Board has set a cost of living adjustment to the rates paid to master recording copyright holders for 2018, with the rate increasing on basis point each to $0.0018 for ad-supported, non-subscription music streaming services; and $0.0023 per performance for paid subscription services. Previously, the rates had been $0.0017 and $0.0022, respectively.

Meanwhile non-commercial webcasters will pay $0.0018 per performance for each one in excess of 159,140 ATH, or aggregate tuning hours, in a month. That is up from $0.0017 in 2016 and 2017, but down from prior years.

These determinations are the first announcements from the CRB in what are expected to be a slate of rate determinations that are scheduled to be announced shortly. These rate determinations will impact all aspects of the music industry, including the mechanical licenses that labels and digital services pay music publishers and songwriters; and the rates paid to music copyright owners by SiriusXM and Music Choice.

Outside the music industry, the Copyright Royalty Board yesterday also set a 2 percent cost of living adjustment for the royalty that satellite carriers, acting as television re-transmitters, pay under the compulsory license.

Consequently, the 27 cents per subscriber per month rate now will be 28 cent per month for private viewers in their homes while the rate for commercial establishments viewers rises to 58 cents per subscriber per month, up from 57 cents per subscriber per month.