If you’re currently looking to stream some music on Spotify from one of Victory Records’ slew of artists, you may not find them on the site. Songs by artists such as Hawthorne Heights, Thursday, and A Day to Remember were taken down on Monday (Oct. 19) after the record label and the streaming site was not able to work out an agreement about unpaid royalties.
The dispute revolves around publishing royalties that Victory’s sister company, Another Victory Music Publishing, says Spotify owes them. In a statement released by the label on Tuesday (Oct. 20), Spotify reportedly owes them compensation for 53 million streams. The statistic of unpaid royalties came directly from Spotify’s own records. According to Billboard, these unpaid royalties can equal about $23,000.
“Victory Records’ catalog of music was pulled from Spotify last night [Monday] as a result of Spotify not properly paying publishing revenues due to Victory Records’ artists in blatant violation of US Copyright laws,” a press release from the record label states.
Joining in on the accusation of unpaid royalties is Audiam, a free service that help artists get paid for the digital use of their music from YouTube and other digital services. Victory and Audiam currently have an agreement and victory is accusing Spotify of trying to have them breach their contract with the service site.
“Spotify knows we are in business with Audiam and were essentially asking us to breach/ignore that agreement,” said Victory. “The issue of nonpayment for songwriters and composers is a widespread problem and not exclusive to Victory Records’ artists … The bottom line is that artists and songwriters are not being paid and fans of Victory’s artists cannot listen to the music.”
“Spotify has pulled down the Victory Records sound recordings in response to us asking for them to pay for the 53 million streams that have not yet been paid on,” Audiam Chief Executive Jeff Price responded on Monday evening.
The take down of Victory artists, as well as those not even part of the group, comes hot on the heels of other artists taking stands against the music streaming giant. Thom Yorke, Prince, and of course Taylor Swift, are just some who have had their music taken down from Spotify because of a lack of compensation for the writers, producers, and artists a like.
At the time of this being written, only the Wall Street Journal had gotten a respond from Spotify. Since WSJ forces people to either “sign in” or “subscribe” to read full articles, we decided to wait until an official rebuff by Spotify is made. For now, Victory founder Tony Brummel has responded by saying that, “we are not looking to go to war with anyone. We want to be fairly; not like indentured servants.”