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First-Ever Public Disclosure: Spotify Unveils Payments and Contributions to Japan’s Music Industry in Annual Report

2024.5.30

#MUSIC

Looking Ahead: The Future of Streaming Services in the Music Industry after 15 Years

However, disputes regarding Spotify and copyright regularly arise.

In November 2023, amidst amendments to copyright laws in South America’s Uruguay, Spotify announced it might halt its service in the country in early 2024, citing the possibility of additional payments to rights holders making the business unsustainable. However, in December of the same year, concerns regarding the amendments were clarified, leading to the continuation of Spotify’s service in 2024.

In May 2024, the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), a nonprofit designated by the U.S. Copyright Office, filed a lawsuit against Spotify. The MLC claims that the reclassification of paid plans due to the addition of audiobook listening will decrease royalty rates for music publishers and songwriters, seeking compensation. Concurrently, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) alleges Spotify’s unauthorized use of works without proper licenses. Concerns and warnings have also been expressed about a “remix” feature reported by The Wall Street Journal, allowing users to speed up, mash up, or edit tracks.

Spotify, which originated in Sweden in 2008 and expanded its service to Japan in 2016, currently operates in over 200 countries and regions. It has been steadily increasing its presence in Japan as a streaming service, launching programs like “RADAR: Early Noise” to announce and support emerging artists.

As a revolutionary global service that has brought significant changes to the structure of the music industry, legal tensions may arise in countries where it operates. While there may be moments of contention with established practices, it is hoped that rather than disrupting the industry, Spotify will play a role in supporting the growth of music industries worldwide by listening to various perspectives, actively disclosing information, and contributing positively.

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