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Illustration by Max Fleishman

Spotify removes all Victory Records releases following revenue dispute

Victory Records: 'Where are my paychecks for the last six months?' Spotify: 'You're fired.'


Joey Keeton


Published Oct 22, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 6:41 pm CDT

On Monday night music-streaming giant Spotify decided to drop all music released by Victory Records from its service. Spotify’s own records showed that about 53 million plays from Victory’s releases had gone unpaid for, and Spotify wanted the Chicago label to sign a new contract to resolve the issue.

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The problem: The new contract would have conflicted with an existing contract. Victory said the contract wouldn’t work, and Spotify responded—after the label allegedly pleaded to work out an agreement—by removing all of its music.

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Yup: In 2015 punk rockers are still being put down by the Man. Some bands signed under Victory include: 

  • Bad Brains
  • Reverend Horton Heat
  • River City Rebels
  • Straylight Run
  • Taking Back Sunday
  • Thursday
  • Voodoo Glow Skulls 
  • Hawthorne Heights
  • Atreyu

(Some have had albums previously released under different labels, and those can largely still be streamed on Spotify.) 

If the numbers in this Medium article—which was reprinted by the Daily Dot—still hold true, that means Spotify would owe Victory Records roughly $371,000. 

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Data: Actual Spotify numbers for premium subscribers in December 2014, per Section 115 disclosures. Source: Audiam

This might not last—it’s certainly not good PR for Spotify to admit it didn’t pay a punk label for streaming plays, and then ask representatives to fix the situation by signing a contract that would breach a contract with another service—but for now, you’ll just have to head to YouTube for all of Victory’s releases (or to Amazon Prime, which offers a great deal of the music Victory Records has released). 

You can find Victory’s official statement here.

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H/T Rolling Stone | Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Oct 22, 2015, 1:19 am CDT