Dozens of songwriters are joining together in a fight against Spotify.
Nile Rodgers, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Greg Kurstin, Frank Dukes, Benj Pasel, Justin Paul, Mike Elizondo, Murda Beatz, Ross Golan and Teddy Geiger, among others, penned an open letter to the music streaming service, slamming their appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to increase royalty rates for songwriters.
Spotify isn’t the only music service to join the appeal that challenges the CRB’s choice to increase the compulsory mechanical rates paid to songwriters by 44 per cent over the next five years, Amazon, Google and SiriusXM also joined the potential change.
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But the songwriters called out Spotify only because they appeared to deflect from the controversy by mentioning their program “Secret Genius”, which promotes the songwriters, producers and engineers that work behind the scenes of some of the biggest hits.
“We’re hurt and disappointed,” they wrote to Spotify chief Daniel Ek and posted on social media. “You created a songwriter relations team and ingratiated Spotify into our community. We know that you are not the only DSP appealing the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rate determination. You are, however, the only provider that made us feel we were working to build a modern music industry together.”
“Now, we can see the real reason for your songwriter outreach. You have used us and tried to divide us but we stand together,” the letter continues. “Our fight is for all songwriters: those struggling to build their career, those in the middle class and those few who have reached your Secret Genius level. But none of us are ‘secret!’ WE all create the ONE thing you sell… songs.”
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We are stronger when we stand together. Whether you write in your bedroom or you write at a fancy studio, we are all songwriters. Thank you to all the Not So Secret Geniuses brave enough to sign. WE ARE THE #MUSICARMY! s/o @billboard @variety @nmpaorg @nsaiofficial @wearesonala @andthewriteris @milkhoneyla @pulserecording @busbee
Among those who have signed are artists who’ve worked with the likes of David Bowie, Adele, Camila Cabello and Aretha Franklin to name a few.