Last night, Spotify pulled all songs by artists signed to Victory Records from its US service, The Wall Street Journal reports. The removal comes in the midst of a dispute over publishing royalties that Victory’s sister company, Another Victory Music Publishing, claims it is owed by Spotify. Based on information revealed in an audit by Audiam Inc., Another Victory is saying that Spotify hasn’t paid royalties for millions of streams of the thousands of songs in the label’s catalog. “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 CEO Jeff Price said on Monday night.
Spotify’s global head of communications and public policy, Jonathan Prince, says that Another Victory and Audiam haven’t provided enough data to substantiate their claims. “Given that we don’t have that information, we felt we had no choice but to temporarily take down their content until we can come to a resolution, he told The WSJ in an email. In response, Price has stated: “Five months ago Audiam provided Spotify all the detailed songwriter information for the over 3000 sound recordings they had not paid on.”
Victory Records is no stranger to controversy, or to disputes over royalties. In 2006, Hawthorne Heights left the label and filed a lawsuit accusing Victory of fraudulent accounting practices, claiming that they had “never seen a single dollar in artist royalties from Victory Records.” In 2011, A Day To Remember sued Victory for breach of contract, claiming that Victory owed them up to $75,000 in unpaid royalties. And in 2013, Streetlight Manifesto aired similar grievances, calling the label “an artist-hostile, morally corrupt and generally dishonest company.”
Victory Records’ catalog remains available on Spotify in other countries.