Spotify AB removed thousands of songs by bands signed to independent record label Victory Records amid a standoff over publishing royalties, the two companies said on Monday.
The dispute centers 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.
A Spotify spokesman said the streaming service took action because Another Victory and Audiam had not provided sufficient data to substantiate their royalty 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,” the spokesman, Jonathan Prince, said in an email.
“Five months ago Audiam provided Spotify all the detailed songwriter information for the over 3,000 sound recordings they had not paid on,” Mr. Price countered.
Tony Brummel, the founder of Chicago-based Victory, couldn’t be reached Monday night.