×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Spotify Settles $1.6 Billion Lawsuit From Wixen Publishing

Spotify and Wixen Music Publishing — which sued the streaming giant late last year for a headline-grabbing $1.6 billion — announced today that they have settled the lawsuit. According to the announcement, “The conclusion of that litigation is a part of a broader business partnership between the parties, which fairly and reasonably resolves the legal claims asserted by Wixen Music Publishing relating to past licensing of Wixen’s catalog and establishes a mutually-advantageous relationship for the future.”

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, a source close to the situation told Variety that, not surprisingly, the settlement amount was well short of $1.6 billion. If it were, as a public company Spotify would be obligated to disclose it per SEC rules, which suggests a 5% threshold (e.g. the impact of the event is 5% or more of revenue, earnings, etc) as a starting point.

In the lawsuit, Wixen, which handles titles by Tom Petty, Neil Young, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, Stevie Nicks, and others, alleged that Spotify was using thousands of songs without a proper license and sought damages worth at least $1.6 billion and injunctive relief.

“Prior to launching in the United States, Spotify attempted to license sound recordings by working with record labels but, in a race to be first to market, made insufficient efforts to collect the required musical composition information and, in turn, failed in many cases to license the compositions embodied within each recording or comply with the requirements of Section 115 of the Copyright Act.

Despite the size of the damages, Wixen signaled a willingness to settle in its first statement. We’re just asking to be treated fairly,” president Randall Wixen said. “We are not looking for a ridiculous punitive payment. But we estimate that our clients account for somewhere between 1% and 5% of the music these services distribute. Spotify has more than $3 billion in annual revenue and pays outrageous annual salaries to its executives and millions per month for ultra-luxurious office space in various cities. All we’re asking for is for them to reasonably compensate our clients by sharing a miniscule amount of the revenue they take in with the creators of the product they sell.”

In Thursday’s announcement, Wixen said, “I want to thank [Spotify cofounder and CEO] Daniel Ek and [Spotify General Counsel and VP, Business & Legal Affairs] Horacio Gutierrez, and the whole Spotify team, for working with the Wixen team, our attorneys and our clients to understand our issues, and for collaborating with us on a win-win resolution.  Spotify is a huge part of the future of music, and we look forward to bringing more great music from our clients to the public on terms that compensate songwriters and publishers as important partners. I am truly glad that we were able to come to a resolution without litigating the matter.  Spotify listened to our concerns, collaborated with us to resolve them and demonstrated throughout that Spotify is a true partner to the songwriting community”

“We’d like to thank Randall Wixen and Wixen Music Publishing for their cooperation in helping us reach a solution,” said Gutierrez. “Wixen represents some of the world’s greatest talents and most treasured creators, and this settlement represents its commitment to providing first-rate service and support to songwriters while broadening its relationship with Spotify.”

Todd Spangler contributed reporting to this article. 

More Biz

  • Bryan Singer: New Allegations of Sex

    Bryan Singer Hit With Fresh Allegations of Sex With Underage Boys

    UPDATED: Bryan Singer, the director of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” has responded to new allegations published in the Atlantic on Wednesday that he engaged in sexual misconduct with underage boys. In the report, four men allege that Singer had sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers in the late 1990s. One of the men, Victor Valdovinos, [...]

  • 'Zootopia' Land Coming to Shanghai Disneyland

    Disney to Open 'Zootopia' Land at Shanghai Theme Park

    The Shanghai Disneyland theme park is to be expanded with the construction of a themed land based on the “Zootopia” animated film and its characters. It will be the first “Zootopia” land at any Disney park worldwide. “The rapid rate of expansion at Shanghai Disney Resort demonstrates our confidence and commitment to the company’s future [...]

  • David Glasser

    David Glasser to Launch $300 Million Shingle With Ron Burkle's Backing (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Glasser, the former chief operating officer of the Weinstein Co., is launching a $300 million film and TV company with the backing of billionaire investor Ron Burkle, Variety has learned. The formation of the production outfit, named 101 Studios, marks a fresh start for Glasser, who was in line to become CEO of the [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York

    Judge Refuses to Pause Weinstein Class Action Case

    A judge on Tuesday denied Harvey Weinstein’s request to put a class action lawsuit on hold pending the outcome of his criminal trial. Ten women have sued Weinstein in federal court in the Southern District of New York, accusing him of violating the federal sex trafficking statute. The suit also alleges that an array of [...]

  • Andrea Ganis Promoted to President of

    Atlantic Records Elevates Andrea Ganis to President of Promotion

    Andrea Ganis has been promoted to the newly created position of president of promotion for Atlantic Records, it was announced today by Atlantic Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. In her new role, she will continue to oversee all promotion activities for Atlantic and its subsidiary labels while serving on [...]

  • Roma

    Netflix Joins the Motion Picture Association of America

    UPDATED WASHINGTON — Netflix has joined the Motion Picture Association of America, a move that reflects its evolution as a major player in the movie business. The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, and it collected about $38 million in membership dues in 2017, according to its most recent filing with the IRS. [...]

  • Fate of 'Simpsons' Up in Air

    What Will Happen to 'The Simpsons’ as Disney Takes Over Fox?

    When “The Simpsons” ends its 30th and current season this spring, it will have racked up 663 original episodes — having a season ago passed “Gunsmoke” (635) as the longest-running scripted program in television history. But with the Walt Disney Co.’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox pending, one of TV’s least likely institutions could prove more [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content