Billboard: NMPA Annual Meeting Celebrates Continued Publishing Growth, Warns of Pre-Pandemic Threats

The National Music Publishers' Association announced its fifth consecutive year of increased revenues, while noting the industry's high-stakes legal cases still ahead.

The National Music Publishers' Association's annual meeting was held virtually Wednesday (June 10) due to COVID-19, where president and CEO David Israelite reminded membership that music publishing is still facing pre-pandemic threats to its business. Namely digital streaming services' Copyright Royalty Board appeal and the Department of Justice's review of ASCAP and BMI consent decree -- which could also be an opportunity, depending on how the DOJ rules.

"We are now 2.5% years into the new [rating] periods but we still don't have certainty on our rates because Spotify and Amazon are still appealing," Israelite said in his state of the industry address.

The Copyright Royalty Board had improved songwriter rates to increase the headline rate incrementally 10.5% to 15.1% over five years from 2018 to 2022. YouTube and Pandora also appealed that ruling and the four services are collectively fighting back to reduce the rate.

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