Spotify hunts for Head of Songwriter Relations as publishing exec exits

James Duffet-Smith

Spotify‘s relationship with songwriters may be about to get a little cosier.

MBW has heard from insiders at the Swedish business that it’s hiring for a Head of Songwriter Relations – a role which will report into Troy Carter (pictured), the ex-manager who has just been unveiled as the platform’s new Global Head of Creator Services.

The individual picked for the global songwriter role will effectively replace James Duffett-Smith, Spotify’s New York-based Global Head of Publisher Relations, MBW understands.

We’re told Duffet-Smith (pictured inset) has decided to leave the business after a near-seven year stretch, and will depart at the end of July.

Spotify’s decision to hire a specific songwriter relations boss comes after the company has faced two class action lawsuits – now merged – for over $150m in damages apiece, regarding its alleged unlicensed distribution of copyrighted musical compositions in the US.

The streaming company has since reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) on the matter, offering to hand over $30m to publishers and songwriters affected.

That sum is believed to be comprised of $25m in owed royalties, plus a $5m bonus payment in would-be damages.

Songwriters had three months from the beginning of April to decide whether they wanted to opt-in to the settlement, claiming their rightful share of streaming cash drawn from the $25m.

It is understood that publishers will split the additional $5m figure based on market share.Music Business Worldwide

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