Spotify to pay $30 million settlement in publishing lawsuit
Spotify has reached a settlement with the National Music Publishing Association for unpaid royalties resulting in the platform’s hosting of unmatched songs. The payout is estimated to be between $20-$30 million with an independent accounting firm holding the embattled streaming giant accountable for accurately determining and disbursing backpay to publishing companies.
Publishers who opt into the settlement release Spotify from any further legal action on this matter, although they are free to press on in unrelated suits. The agreement also contains language that will enable direct licensing and strengthen future business relationships between the two parties. This clause should be helpful in avoiding future legal action over licensing issues like those contended in the $150 million class action recently leveled against the service.
This suit is one of many to allege that Spotify routinely fails to ensure that its music is correctly licensed and often fails to correctly credit songwriters and publishers in the process. According to an estimate published by the New York Times this week, improperly licensed music could include a staggering 25% of the service’s offerings.
In a statement, Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s global head of communications tirelessly reiterated the company’s stance. “As we have said many times, we have always been committed to paying songwriters and publishers every penny,” said Prince. “We appreciate the hard work of everyone at the NMPA to secure this agreement and we look forward to further collaboration with them as we build a comprehensive publishing administration system.”