Last year, the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) mandated that music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora would be required to pay out higher royalties to musicians, as much as 44 percent more in royalty fees.
Spotify is believed to have been hit hardest by this ruling, partly due to how the company offers discounts for students and families, as well as access to free streaming supported by ads.
The company has now set out to recoup some of that over payment throughout the rest of 2019. It says it wishes to minimize the impact on publishing companies but needs to account for this negative balance which is being seen as advance to musicians and publishers currently.
Earlier this year, Google, Amazon and Spotify set out to appeal the ruling stating that the decision would harm “both music licensees and copyright owners.”
In a statement from Spotify: “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.”