Amidst Serious Accusations, Spotify Removes Victory Records’ Catalog

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The following is a statement issued by Victory Records to Digital Music News this morning regarding their complete removal by Spotify last (Monday) night.  We’ll have more as this situation develops.

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Victory Records’ catalog of music was pulled from Spotify last night as a result of Spotify not properly paying publishing revenues due to Victory Records’ artists in blatant violation of US Copyright laws.  Spotify also pulled down a very large number of albums that Victory is not the publisher for proving that their internal systems are inadequate.

We asked that our catalog not be pulled, that we would amicably work with Spotify, and they haphazardly removed our content regardless.  53,000,000 streams, as per Spotify’s statements, were identified with no publishing royalties being paid by Spotify.

Late yesterday, Spotify sent over a document giving them mechanical clearance to use our music.  We could not sign said document for a variety of reasons, most importantly, that it would put us in direct violation of our agreement with Audiam.  Spotify knows we are in business with Audiam and were essentially asking us to breach/ignore that agreement.

The issue of nonpayment for songwriters and composers is a widespread problem and not exclusive to Victory Records’ artists. We understand your frustration with not being able to listen to the music you enjoy (and most pay for via subscription).

The bottom line is that artists and songwriters are not being paid and fans of Victory’s artists cannot listen to the music.

Thank you for your support and we remain hopeful that Spotify will do the right thing.

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14 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Victory’s royalty payments to artists have been in question for years and years. Funny how they take a stand against Spotify.

    • Scumbag steve

      I was just thinking the exact same thing. “Tony is horrible to his bands, his employees, and probably everyone else involved in the music industry, I don’t think him playing martyr is going to hold weight as nobody will dare sit beside him in a court room.”

  2. Anonymous

    I’m confused. Is Victory not licensed through BMI/ASCAP? I was under the impression Spotify doesn’t deal directly with publishers/writers. So how can publishing royalties not be getting paid? And I have a hard time believing Spotify didn’t pay any publisher/songwriter royalties for 53 million songs. I also have a hard time believing Spotity wouldn’t have noticed that unless the royalties were being paid to someone else. And even then, why did it take 53 million plays to get anything corrected? If I wasn’t paid after 1 million plays I think I would be correcting the problem.

  3. Anonymous

    They’re notorious for being horrible to their acts.

    Also find it hilarious that they’re also advertising on DMN in search of a publishing admin…..

    • FarePlay

      Is this the same anonymous as in the initial post? The tactic of discrediting the messenger has been around since Napster.

  4. Jeff Robinson

    This is happening to our artists too. Irregular and unpredictable royalty payments abound. 3 services paying mechanicals, all services spinning the music. BMI only being paid by Youtube, Rhapsody, Spotify and Apple and no others, where does one start? Streaming numbers from distributors are way different and way higher than anything reported by BMI or Audiam or MusicReports.

  5. Literati X

    I’m not going to lie to you ; I don’t know my math on numbers like £00.0004499368 . I don’t even know how to count that shit up ; you need to come at me with millions , billions or trillions on the entry level X on any kind of credibility in the accounting department. . .

  6. PublishingGuy

    Someone help me out with this, the story does not make sense.

    Spotify owes publishing royalties that it can clearly see from its own accounting (they should be able to see the plays on the performance reports as easily as I can check my email). They even offered Victory a direct publishing agreement, which they could not enter into because they have an exclusive deal with Audiam. So, they know who to pay, yet have not. Spotify chose to take down the sound recordings and suffer the bad press rather than simply settle the issue with a rather meager payment of $23,000. Here are the options of what is really happening as I see them. Someone tell me which it is:

    A. Spotify is being dishonest and withholding payment to a known publisher maliciously
    B. Audiam has not adequately presented proof that they administer the compositions in question
    B. Spotify will do anything not to deal with Audiam

  7. Rick Shaw

    Spotify aside, when is Victory Records going to pay their artists the royalties owed?

  8. JTVDigital

    2 things:
    1. this is a US-centric only problem. These issues do not exist anywhere else in the world since there are collecting societies who deal with mechanical and performance royalties on behalf of their songwriters members.
    2. in the US, mechanical royalties are deducted by digital stores and stay unallocated until the Songwriters and Publishers notify the digital service of where to send the royalties. There is no way for a digital service provider like Spotify to pro-actively know who to pay when it comes to publishing, since this data is usually missing from what they receive from labels and distributors.