Currently, streaming companies pay songwriters and publishers about 10.5% to 12% of overall revenue based on a complex formula. Payments to labels and other copyright owners are negotiated separately. The money is divided into public performance and mechanic royalties and dispersed to various societies and publishers.
Apple's proposal is a simple "all-in" statutory rate that would be "fair, simple and transparent, unlike the incredibly complicated structure that currently exists." The company suggests a rate of $0.00091 per interactive stream, or 9.1 cents per hundred plays. This results in songwriting royalties for 100 streams that are equal to those for one download.
The Copyright Royalty Board is still in the process of determining the statutory rates that will be paid to songwriters and publishers for downloads, streams, and other uses of songs from 2018 to 2022.
Apple declined to propose any changes to mechanical royalties paid on downloads and suggested a royalty of $0.17 per month per subscriber for paid locker services and a $0 for locker services that hold purchased content.
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