Music streaming service Spotify has reached an agreement with the National Music Publisher’s Association (NMPA) in responsibly paying back unpaid royalties that stretch as far back as Spotify’s inception. According to a report from The Verge, Spotify will pay out $21 million total for deals up to June 30, 2017.
That $21 million would be split between a $16 million royalty fund and a $5 million bonus fund for publishers and songwriters to opt-in. The service also said it would work to monitor and fix administrative structures in order to prevent unpaid royalties from accumulating.
Spotify is not the only music streaming service under fire for money it owes to musicians. Tidal is facing a similar lawsuit from a class-action claim seeking $5 million in unpaid royalties. Artists have also spoken out about the unfair treatment they perceive in bringing their music to streaming service models, which slice up traditional whole album and digital download sales to fractions.
Spotify will soon set up a website to allow musicians, songwriters and publishers to collect their unpaid royalties in April. The window to make specific claims is relatively fast: after a three-month period, Spotify will divvy up leftover funds and disburse to artists on the platform based on market share.