Spotify and other streamers (sans Apple) have appealed new songwriter royalty rates set by the US Copyright Royalty Board, effectively ensuring that the increase is unlikely to flow to songwriters and music publishers any time soon.
"That will be a long drawn-out process," Spotify Chief Financial Officer Barry McCarthy said on a Q1 earnings call this week. "It's just the nature of the beast."
The rate appeal drew fire from most of the music industry. But from Spotify's viewpoint, these negotiations will help determine both profitability and the streamer's ability to innovate and offer the products and discounts that it believes drive user growth.