Sony Reaches Streaming Settlement With ‘American Idol’ Stars

Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic

If one thing has happened that shook up the music industry since these singing competition shows started with American Idol back in the early 2000s it’s the rise of streaming musical content. The model that had existed from the beginning of time in which an artist got a lump sum upfront and a percentage of album sales after was shot to hell. A group of American Idol alums, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Clay Aiken, took Sony to court to get their streaming royalties.

Sony has settled with a group called 19 Recordings which represents several of the American Idol artists from the past. It seems that Sony wasn’t paying them the royalties they had coming to them from streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, etc. This is a common complaint from artists about these streaming services in that they usually got little to no money from them. The amount is undisclosed but going forward Sony has to pay these artists the right percentage of royalties for the songs that are streamed or downloaded.


The music, film, and TV industries are so antiquated in their business models that they are having a hard time catching up to the developments in technology and the way people consume media. Not surprisingly it’s the artists that are getting screwed.

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