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Music Publishers: Peloton ‘Let Down Its Customers By Failing to Pay Creators’

Said NMPA president David Israelite: "We will continue to fight to make this right for songwriters and Peloton’s users who both deserve better.”

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The National Music Publishing Association (NMPA) is ramping up its battle with Peloton, claiming that more than 1,300 song infringements have taken place on the fitness technology company’s platform. The latest amended complaint follows a March filing against Peloton for infringement of more than 1,000 musical works seeking damages of over $150 million. The plaintiffs included publishers Downtown Music Publishing, Pulse Music Publishing, ole, peermusic, Ultra Music, Big Deal Music, Reservoir, Round Hill, TRO Essex Music Group and The Royalty Network.

Says NMPA President and CEO David Israelite: “Since filing this lawsuit we have now discovered more than double the number of songs for which the plaintiffs’ songwriters were never paid by Peloton. The fact that Peloton has gone this long without proper music licenses is astounding. Peloton has reportedly paid only around 2% of its total revenue for music, and we now know a significant amount of the music it has used hasn’t been paid for at all. We’ve filed an amended complaint adding 1,324 songs to the lawsuit, including songs recorded by Taylor Swift, Adele, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Lizzo, Charlie Puth, Meek Mill, John Legend, Maroon 5 and many more.

“Peloton has let down its customers by failing to pay music creators while selling its memberships at a premium. Peloton’s customers pay for customized workout entertainment and Peloton’s popularity depends on the accessibility of music on its platform. We will continue to fight to make this right for songwriters and Peloton’s users who both deserve better.”

According to the NMPA, Peloton has procured licenses from some publishers but it “has failed to do so with a significant number” of others.

In a statement provide to Variety, a rep for Peloton says the company will continue to defend itself, writing: “NMPA has again revealed its anti-competitive objective in this matter. In March, NMPA requested an expedited trial schedule, to which Peloton readily agreed. On the eve of court-ordered mediation, NMPA sought to alter the optics around its lawsuit by filing exaggerated new claims prior to the mediation while also transparently timing its filing to capitalize on Peloton’s inability to publicly respond in detail during our quiet period.

Peloton has built and deployed a proprietary music platform to serve our instructors and members. This platform could only have been developed with the close collaboration of our trusted music partners, which include all of the major labels, major music publishers and performance rights organizations, among many others. As a result, we have the largest audiovisual connected fitness music catalog in the world.

We will continue to defend ourselves against claims made in this matter and look forward to pursuing our counterclaims.”