In October, we posted about Victory Records getting into a bit of a spat with Spotify, claiming the service owed Victory over $20,000 in unpaid royalties. That resulted in the streaming service pulling all of the label's music. There didn't appear to be any kind of timetable for the conflict to be resolved and now Victory Records founder Tony Brummel is coming out and saying that the label might be in some seriously deep shit if things don't get back to the way they were soon, according to International Business Times.
“They are over 70 percent of our monthly digital sales,” Brummel wrote in an email circulated to undisclosed recipients Friday. “Sorry to curse but in a few months — I am fucked … They are going to force me to drop artists and lay off staff.”
The article also makes another excellent point about Victory Records' current predicament: Spotify putting the music back might not solve everything. If Spotify puts all of Victory Records' music back on its service hypothetically by the end of this sentence and all its historical listen count data are reset to zero, it'll affect the discoverability of the label's music.
Granted, I think there are a fair amount of fans of bands like A Day To Remember, Hawthorne Heights and Streetlight Manifesto out there that'll be looking for those releases regardless, but having that level of discoverability torn away is still a huge deal. Spotify claims it will reinstate the listen counts.
I think the real defeated parties here are Victory Records' employees and the fans, who aren't even embroiled in the conflict but are about to suffer/are already suffering.