Swedish music streaming firm Spotify AB has removed thousands of songs by bands signed to independent record label Victory Records in the US amid a standoff over publishing royalties.
The dispute centres on publishing royalties that Victory's sister company, Another Victory Music Publishing, says it is owed by the subscription music-streaming service. Based on an audit by a small technology company called Audiam Inc., Another Victory says that Spotify hasn't paid publishing royalties for the compositions underlying thousands of recordings that Spotify users have listened to millions of times over the past several years.
"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 said on Monday night. The songs taken down include several hits by Florida pop-punk band A Day to Remember and other popular tunes.
Spotify has stated that the streaming service took action because Another Victory and Audiam had not provided sufficient data to substantiate their royalty claims.
But Audiam's Price counters that the information was provided to Spotify "five months ago" for over 3,000 sound recordings that have yet to be paid up on.
Victory spokesperson Tom Wojcik failed to respond to FYI when called yesterday. A person with knowledge of publishing royalties and music streaming services in Canada who wished to remain unnamed said these disputes often occur because of ambiguity over who to pay. In this particular case where ambiguity isn't apparent the source simply said that companies like Audiam can help with the question of who to pay "but it takes two to Tango".
The label’s catalog remains available in other countries, according to a source reporting to the Wall Street Journal.