Just Got My Spotify Mechanical Royalty Check In the Mail — $11.06 for 32,222 Plays

Kerry Muzzey is a prolific composer whose work appears in major TV shows, Hollywood film trailers, and Broadway productions.  Earlier this week, Muzzey got his mechanical royalty check from Spotify.

After failing to pay mechanical royalties entirely — for years — Spotify is apparently now sending payments to artists.  Just try not to laugh out loud (or cry out loud) when you see the money involved.

Earlier this week, composer Kerry Muzzey — whose work appears on TV shows like GleeSo You Think You Can Dance, and The LXD, as well as major motion picture trailers — shared his mechanical royalty check from Spotify. The windfall: $11.60 for 32,222 plays.

Which boils down to approximately $0.000360 per play.

We asked Muzzey for more details on his payment.

He told us that Spotify sends the checks sporadically, and Harry Fox Agency administers them. “HFA handles Spotify’s mechanicals,” he said. “They come in small batches here and there. Nothing new where Spotify royalties are concerned, though. Just disheartening to see how little the service generates in mechanicals for writers/composers.”

That suggests that Spotify has been sending its mechanical checks all along, just not to everyone. And those receiving checks aren’t exactly getting rich. Sadly, this isn’t the first lowly mechanical check we’ve seen from Spotify. David Lowery, who ended up starting a massive legal battle against Spotify and other streaming services for missing or partial payments, once shared his Spotify check for $5.05.

Lowery started a massive class action lawsuit against Spotify, one of two from indie artists that ended up getting consolidated.  That was the start of a massive wave of litigation from rights owners claiming massive infringement and non-payment of mechanicals, most of which were settled out-of-court.  Helping to clean the mess was the Music Modernization Act, which was passed into law in 2018 by President Trump and prohibited future mechanical rights lawsuits.

It also created the Mechanical Licensing Collective, whose job will be to administer mechanical rights checks to rights owners. The MLC is still being formed, but the rights agency is projected to instantly generate more than a billion dollars in mechanical rights for major publishers like Universal Music Publishing Group and Sony/ATV. That payout is estimated based on a massive pile of unclaimed rights for years of streams, dating back years, with major publishers expected to collect the payments based on existing publisher market share.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the MLC is going to create a windfall for songwriters and composers like Muzzey, however.  Or, anyone without hundreds of millions of streams to multiply against $0.000360.

That leaves other, more lucrative rights like sync.  Accordingly, if you’re interested in checking out Kerry’s work, here’s his site.  It’s pretty damn good.



16 Responses

  1. ben

    it isn’t the first time artsits are complaining about that tho’..and yet they still fuel the monster… Shitify makes millions and the real people who creates get the crumb

    11$…SMFH!!…even selling 4 physical cd in the street in a day would be more profitable..

    The question is ..are people became so dumb or so lazy to think for a minute??

    Get away from this plateform, not doing it means you agree with spotify to be their slave.

    • MusicSkidder

      No, this is good!

      Sit back and let the money roll in.

      What do you expect? Adoring fans throwing money?

      More music = more payments but keep in mind, there is a whole bunch of music out there so anything is better than nothing!

      • John

        “What do you expect? Adoring fans throwing money?”

        There’s a big difference between eleven bucks and “adoring fans throwing money.”

    • Steve

      We get approx 7 million streams a month on Spotify and get paid a very nice $16-18000 per month…we are not signed to a record label just a music distribution company that takes a 5% cut of royalties, plenty of money to be made if you do it right!

  2. Johnny

    Twenty years since Napster and now the musicians are all complaining! Twenty years of doing and saying almost nothing while continuing to release albums which the fans all want for free. Hard to compete with ‘stolen’ but don’t upset the fans like Metallica did! Sad that fans expect all the musicians to work for free and spend many months creating great music which people don’t want to pay for! This new business model just doesn’t work for musicians. Free music doesn’t pay the electric bill or the mortgage. Only option is to quit the stupid music business and let the hobbyists flood the market with mostly crap music. And take your music OFF SPOTIFY and OFF YOUTUBE!

    • John

      There are many times where the musician doesn’t have a say into whether or not to keep things on Spotify. It can be up to the label or whoever holds the rights.

  3. Lightening

    Spotty has feasted on independent musicians with impunity for years.

    How long did you think they would leave you alone, before they started siphoning money from you?

    The labels didnt care, they allowed this Giant Tick to consume as much from Indies as they could. Circumventing every avenue we could go to escape cut off all of our attempts to eek out a living. Deployed a bevy of tactics to keep Indies down and unprofitable to protect the Music Monopoly.

    The Great Extinction by Stephen Tyler (no your not as smart as Stephen Tyler) Propping up fake indie plants that aren’t working out as the real thing! With no new sounds no new genres and now the foolish greedy industry has started to feast on It’s own tail!

    Knife and fork please!

    Allow me to introduce you comfy signed “artists” to your Cthulhu

    It’s called many different things The Great Liquidity Crisis, The Greatest Depression See an Armada of black swans are barreling toward us at top speed now. And all this will be gone the musical landscape made barren by the clear cut mentality of the Music Industry and we will start at zero

    Funny thing is the Genres are dead, played out by the industry

    And all of you have been propped up so nicely with crumbs of the billions of dollars seen only by those at the top of the Industry youve allowed to rule over you.
    They make Billions you make millions. Thousands…Hundreds…Tens

    It’s Never Enough THEY need more and you get less…

    You’ll soon see the harsh reality unsigned artists exist in but none of you have what it takes for the New age of music

    Your all used to the factory mentality, institutionalized musicians what a laugh!

    Independent musicians are hardy. We have new music for the starving masses and we own EVERYTHING! And we know all of your names and will not be forgetting any time soon what you’ve done to music.

    The long winter is almost over for some of us and is just beginning for the rest of you sell outs!!!

    Enjoy the show !

  4. Aussie Jack

    If you think for ONE MINUTE the Music industry was powerless against Napster your fooling your self

    The music industry could have done what the movie industry did
    they could have shut this all down long ago.

    They wanted Napster because they could kill off the greatest threat to the industry which is Independent actors.

    Securing the their MONOPOLY by killing the nature of music

    No more surprises for the board of trustees no new genre and artists and musicians they didn’t have control over.

    We are in the Matrix

  5. Johnny

    Radio needs to change and go back to playing the BEST NEW MUSIC and not the music provided to them by the Big Corps (using PAYOLA) – sadly FREE music means the artists get no budget to pay other musicians, pay for studio costs and Mastering, and say goodbye to great orchestrations and the use of great string and horn sections. Some guys shouting over a drum loop is the new music business. The fans have only themselves to blame for this new era of mostly disposable, flavor of the month, instantly forgettable junk which the radio stations continue to play and promote

    • ben

      Radio stations? they gave up years ago,

      I’m working for a European network for 25 years, and I’ve seen the switch…
      let me tell you that today, most mainstream radios ain’t choosing a song because it’s good or because they believe in it (as it as post socmedia)

      now the head of music meets the head of program and spend most of their time
      to check what’s the most view,clicked etc.. our playlist is mostly made from Spotify and Youtube rankings .. dumb! there’s no place for feeling anymore..they only check what the mass is listenig to ..then they play it.. (when radios ain’t payed for playing a song..: payola)

      Nowadays, to work as Head of music, you don’t need years of musical background anymore..neither a feeling,..now you just need to know how to analyse numbers.. Radios gave up, they brings only what people wants, so don’t expect
      discovering somethign new thru mainstream radios.. they’re not creating a trend anymore, they’re just followers.

      I hate this world

  6. Anonymous

    You people do realize that mechanical royalty rates are statutory, right? Meaning they’re set by the government and the CRB?

  7. D2

    32,000?!!! That a little less that my video of my dog wagging his tail when I come home.

  8. Ted

    Congratulation, that’s $11.06 that you didn’t have before gained from doing what you love. Or are you in it just for the money? For shame!

  9. BOB

    Ok, now show the performance part from ASCAP/BMI/whatever you are affiliated