The Copyright Royalty Board judges on Monday issued the public version of their final determination for webcasting royalty rates and terms.
Those are the royalty rates for webcasters that stream sound recordings from 2021 through 2025. This is one of the final steps in the process of implementing rates that we told you about earlier.
The document released by the judges is a deep dive into a legalistic discussion over how rates for entities like Spotify, AM/FM broadcasters, colleges and other streamers are calculated. The public version of their document is available here. Some confidential information has been redacted.
The document includes an extensive discussion of why the judges rejected the NAB’s idea that simulcasters should pay lower rates. They ruled that simulcasters and other commercial
webcasters “compete in the same submarket and should be subject to the same rate.
Granting simulcasters differential royalty treatment would distort competition in this submarket,
promoting one business model at the expense of others.” (That discussion starts on page 218 of the document.)
The rate for commercial subscription services in 2021 is $0.0026 per performance. The
rate for commercial nonsubscription services in 2021 is $0.0021 per performance. Subsequent rates will change based on a Consumer Price Index.
Noncommercial webcasters that don’t exceed a certain total number of tuning hours per month have a flat rate of $1,000 annually for each station or channel.
Public broadcasters and certain educational webcasters previously reached their own separate rate settlements for the five-year period with SoundExchange; the CRB approved those last year.