The new year has come hard and fast for music streaming giant Spotify. The company has been slammed with a potential $1.6 billion lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing claiming that Spotify has violated Wixen’s copyright on more than 10,000 songs – including tracks from rock legends Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Stevie Nicks.
This lawsuit comes alongside breaking news that the streaming company has secretly filed to finally put Spotify shares on the New York Stock Exchange. As big fans of Spotify's model placing a high value on music discovery to give new artists a platform to build fans, we're hoping these claims don't have an affect on Spotify's exciting plans to go public.
Spotify is one of the largest music streaming services worldwide, boasting 60 million paying users and more than 140 million total users. Wixen’s lawsuit argues that Spotify paid the music labels for licensing rights but not the music publishers or songwriters due to "insufficient efforts to collect the required musical composition information." These claims are alleged at this point, and a court ruling has not been made either way. Spotify has not made comments about the bold accusations.
A representative from Wixen explained:
"All we’re asking for is for [Spotify] to reasonably compensate our clients by sharing a minuscule amount of the revenue they take in with the creators of the product they sell. Music fans should be able to enjoy Spotify, knowing that their favorite artists are being treated fairly."
Fortune magazine has pegged Spotify at being worth $16 to $20 billion, which would make it the most valuable standalone music streaming service in the world. It’s unclear how much the lawsuit will actually affect Spotify's valuation, and until more information is revealed we're unsure how this will impact the streaming platform.