When will songwriters and publishers start to receive back-payments for unpaid mechanical publishing licenses on Spotify? That’s now anyone’s guess, with the wheels just starting to turn on a structured settlement agreement involving that National Music Publishers Association (NMPA).
That agreement, exclusively published by Digital Music News in late April, includes a myriad of stipulations and structured payout schedules, including a $5 million lump-sum penalty from Spotify to be divided amongst participating NMPA members. The contract itself may be subject to additional drafts and negotiation rounds, with final signatures perhaps months away.
Add multiple, ongoing, contentious class actions against Spotify, and you have the type of chaos that almost guarantees massive delays in first payments (if they’re received at all).