Music publishing revenues have leaped upwards in 2023, though there are questions over whether 2024 can keep up.

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) have revealed 2023’s results. The association works on behalf of songwriters to collect music publishing revenues for musical compositions and saw a fantastic year.

The NMPA report nearly 11% growth in music publishing revenue in 2023. Publishing revenues in the U.S. reached $6.2 billion last year, representing growth of 10.74% on 2022.

At the NMPA’s annual meeting they awarded Lana Del Rey with the award for Songwriter Icon. Savan Kotecha took the award for Non-Performing Songwriter Icon, and the song ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ was awarded the Iconic Song Award.

However, the event’s discussion gave large prominence to Spotify and the NMPA’s displeasure with their recent actions. A recent move saw Spotify move to a bundling scheme which sees them pay less to publishers and songwriters.

Spotify’s bundling scheme means that they qualify for a lower publishing royalty rate because their service offers both music and audiobooks. This is after Spotify added audiobooks as a Premium benefit last year.

This move has gained ire from many in the industry, particularly publishers’ associations. The NMPA say that Spotify is “failing to offer an option for subscribers to revert to a music-only subscription and is thwarting attempts to cancel through dark patterns and a confusing website interface”.

Saying that, Spotify have recently launched a music-only subscription. Puzzlingly, it is currently only available in the U.K.. As the bundling rates apply in the U.S., we should expect to see the music-only subscription launch in the states soon. The new offering is available for £1 less than standard Premium, which comes with 15 hours of free audiobook listening.

President and CEO of NMPA, David Israelite said: “Spotify’s attempt to radically reduce songwriter payments by reclassifying their music service as an audiobook bundle is a cynical, and potentially unlawful, move that ends our period of relative peace. We will not stand for their perversion of the settlement we agreed upon in 2022 and are looking at all options.”

Spotify accounts for roughly 42% of the mechanical royalties paid in the U.S.. It is thought that their percentage of the market could drop dramatically following the changes to bundle rates. Following a huge jump for publishing revenues in 2023, the report for 2024 in the US may not be so glowing.

For more information on music publishing and how to earn the revenues you’re due as a songwriter, head to the RouteNote Publishing page.