Apple has paid out a massive $163,338,890 in “accrued historical unmatched royalties” for Apple Music. That’s more than any other streaming music service, including Spotify, which currently leads the overall global market share.
The Mechanical Licensing Collective received a total of $424.3 million in these historical royalties. Variety notes this means some songwriters and publishers will receive a big “windfall.”
Unmatched royalties are ones that cannot be matched to a copyright owner, due to songs not being registered correctly or contact information missing. The Mechanical Licensing Collective does the research to find the rightful owners of songs. This means that they may then claim the money owed to them.
Big payouts for artists
Variety writes that:
“According to the announcement, a total of 20 DSPs separately transferred accrued historical unmatched royalties to the MLC, as part of the 2018 Music Modernization Act’s limitation on liability for past infringement.”
Aside from Apple, a number of other streaming companies paid up. These big payments included $153.23 million from Spotify $42.74 million from Amazon Music, $32.86 million from Google, $12.36 million from Pandora, and others. The numbers correlate with the size of the streaming services. As expected, Apple and Spotify are the two top dogs.
“This is a massive win for music creators and the streaming services themselves,” National Music Publishers Association president and CEO David Israelite said in a statement. “Songwriters and music publishers have for years fought to ensure they were paid accurately and fully by digital streaming services. ‘Unmatched money’ has plagued the industry and today, thanks to the Music Modernization Act, we know that it amounts to just under $425 million. Not including money previously paid out in multiple million-dollar settlements.”
You can find out more information about the payouts and news here.