The subscription streaming company, Spotify has removed albums by Taking Back Sunday, Hawthorne Heights, Thursday and more artists on Victory Records after the Chicago label claimed they were unable to work out an agreement with the streaming service over unpaid royalties.
In a statement the Chicago based label wrote, “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”.
According to Spotify’s own records, the predominately hardcore and post-hardcore label claim they are owed for 53 million streams. Victory said the streaming service also pulled material from non-Victory artists, whom the label pointed out were being similarly uncompensated.
While Victory attempted to avoid having their music pulled and to fix the problem with Spotify, they said they were offered only a contract to sign that would have violated a previous agreement with the digital rights service, Audiam.
“Spotify knows we are in business with Audiam and were essentially asking us to breach/ignore that agreement,” Victory said. “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.”
Despite Spotify’s staggering popularity the service has been regularly hounded by accusations that it hurts artists since it launched in the U.S. in 2011. Musicians like Thom Yorke, Prince, Neil Young, Garth Brooks and, most notably, Taylor Swift have recently pulled some, if not all, of their music from the service, often alleging inadequate compensation to writers, producers and artists.