Good news, everyone! It was announced yesterday by a bunch of organizations you didn’t know existed that the music publishers, songwriters, record labels, and digital music services whose livelihood you never consider have agreed on how to divvy up the money you’re hardly ever spending! At least for the next five years, which, as David Bowie already knows, is all we’ve got left on this backwater shitrock anyway.
According to the solid dudes from Billboard and Hypebot that I just shared a cab with, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), and Digital Media Association (DiMA) filed the joint agreement yesterday with the US Copyright Royalty Board (yes, okay, the CRB). The new deal, which only covers 2013-2017 — because who knows how music will be disseminated after Moore’s Law breaks — spins a fantastical tale of a 9.1 cents-per-song rate for old-fashioned things like downloads, CDs, and other physical formats; 24 cents for ringtones; and a whole mess of new models for the breeds of ‘roided-out interactive streaming services out there. “Tell me more about those new categories, Nobodaddy!” Oh, no, I couldn’t… “Aw, come on, do it, man! You ROCK!” Well, if you you insist. Take it away, Billboard dot biz:
— For the paid locker services like the one iTunes offers consumers, music publishers will get a mechanical rate of 12% of revenue or 20.65% of total content cost or 17 cents per subscriber, whichever is greater.
— For digital lockers that provide free cloud storage with a download purchase, music publishers will get 12% of revenue or 22% of the total cost of content, whichever is greater.
— For the third category, called a mixed bundle (such as when your cell phone service’s subscription rate comes with a music service), music publishers get 11.35% of revenue or 21% of total content cost, whichever is greater.
— The fourth new category, called limited interactive service (such as when a subscription service can offer limited amounts of music to, say, one genre or playlists that the user can access at a lower price), music publishers will get 10.5% of revenue or 21% of total cost or 18 cents per subscriber, whichever is greater.
— Finally, for the fifth category, called a music bundle (such as when a CD album comes with a download), music publishers will get 11.35% of revenue or 21% of total content cost.
“Today’s agreement paves the way for our members to continue developing exciting new business models that satisfy consumers,” said DiMA executive Lee Knife. Golly, I don’t know how much more exciting they can get than this one! HA. No, seriously though, this is good news for us consumers, because it means that we don’t really have to do anything for all those hardworking artists-pricks, publishing-dweebs, and techno-nerds to get paid. And that’s always great. If I could “Like” not having to do anything on Facebook, I totally might.