Spotify’s “Secret Genius” Songwriters Pen Open Letter: “Do The Right Thing And Drop Your Appeal”

Many songwriters who have been part of Spotify’s “Secret Genius” program are speaking out against the digital service provider’s appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board’s recent rates determination.

MusicRow has obtained a copy of an open letter to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, which urges Ek and the company to drop its appeal. Several of Nashville’s top writers are among the letter’s signees.

Spotify launched its Secret Genius Awards in 2017 to honor songwriters who contributed to the top-streamed songs on the platform. The service also launched Secret Genius studios in Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta and London. Now many of those writers and creators are speaking against Spotify’s recent appeal (along with Amazon, Google, and Pandora).

“We’re hurt and disappointed. You created a songwriter relations team and ingratiated Spotify into our community,” the open letter reads. “We know that you are not the only DSP appealing the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rate determination. You are, however, the only provider that made us feel we were working to build a modern music industry together.”

Shortly after the CRB finalized its rate determination in February—a decision which would ultimately raise the pay from digital service providers to songwriters and publishers by 43.8%—most of the leading streaming services appealed the rate determination. Apple Music chose not to appeal.

Numerous industry organizations, including the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and Songwriters of North America (SONA), have criticized the digital service providers’ appeal of the CRB rates. Additionally, the NMPA and NSAI are planning a Town Hall Meeting in Nashville for tomorrow (April 10) from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. CT at 3rd & Lindsley.

Read the full open letter to Spotify’s Daniel Ek below:

 

April 9, 2019
Spotify
c/o: Daniel Ek
4 World Trade Center
150 Greenwich Street, 62nd Floor
New York, NY 10007

RE: An Open Letter to Spotify

Dear Spotify:

We’re hurt and disappointed. You created a songwriter relations team and ingratiated Spotify into our community. We know that you are not the only DSP appealing the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rate determination. You are, however, the only provider that made us feel we were working to build a modern music industry together.

Now, we can see the real reason for your songwriter outreach. You have used us and tried to divide us but we stand together.

Our fight is for all songwriters: those struggling to build their career, those in the middle class and those few who have reached your Secret Genius level. But none of us are “secret!” WE all create the ONE thing you sell… songs.

Do the right thing and drop your appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board rate determination.

Sincerely,

Not So Secret Geniuses

Alex Hope, Ali Tamposi, Ammar Malik, Amy Allen, Andres Torres & Mauricio Rengifo, Andrew Goldstein, Ashley Gorley, Asia Whiteacre, Babyface, Barry Dean, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Bibi Bourelly, Billy Steinberg, Brett James, Brian Lee, Brody Brown, busbee, Captain Cuts, Caroline Ailin, Chloe Angelides, Cirkut, Claudia Brant, Cook Classics, Danja, Dave Bassett, David Garcia, David Hodges, David Pramik, Doc McKinney, Ed Drewett, Electric, Emily Warren, Emily Weisband, Evan Bogart, Frank Dukes, Giorgio Tuinfort, Greg Kurstin, Greg Wells, Ian Kirkpatrick, Ilsey Juber, Jason Evigan, Jaycen Joshua, Jesse Frasure, Jin Jin, Joe Kirkland and Jason Dean from Whiskey Water, Johnny Yukon, Jonas Jeberg, Josh Osborne, Jozzy, J.T. Harding, Lori McKenna, Louis Bell, Luke Laird, Ludwig Goransson, Lunch Money Lewis, Madison Love, Marcella Araica, Mike Elizondo, Mike Wise, Mr. Hudson, Murda Beatz, Nasri Atweh, Neil Ormandy, Nic Nac, Nicolle Galyon, Nile Rodgers, Oak Felder, Priscilla Renee, Rob Knox, Rodney Clawson, RØMANS, Ross Copperman, Ross Golan, Ruth Anne Cunningham, Sarah Aarons, Scott Harris, Sebastian Kole, Sebastian Krys, Serban Ghenea, Shane McAnally, Simon Wilcox, Sir Nolan, Starrah, Steve Mac, Teddy Geiger, The Futuristics, The Orphanage Trevor Brown and Zaire Koalo, T-Minus, TMS, Tricky Stewart, Vinylz, Wayne Hector, Western Weiss, Zach Crowell

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at jnicholson@musicrow.com.

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