We’re extremely disappointed to find out this week that any content that falls under the ‘spoken word’ genre is now NOT available in the United States or any U.S. territories, due to Spotify updating their terms of service. This includes ALL of our motivational audios as well as anything that is in the genres of fitness & workout, audiobooks, comedy, poetry, dialogue and speech.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this all happened amid a dispute with comedians over royalties and copyright. Agencies like Word Collections (a comedy-focused rights-management company) and Spoken Giants (a global right administration company), which are mostly representing comedians, are trying to negotiate terms that would allow spoken word to be treated the same as music and are also supporting artists who want to claim royalties on their spoken-word work.
Unfortunately, companies like Spotify have only been paying out around 50% of the royalties on Spoken Word content as compared to music, that is, only paying out the performance half, but not the underlying composition half of the royalties.
Motiversity, as a leading Motivational Media Company, is now suffering because of these takedowns. Our Spotify monthly listeners have dropped by 50%. This is a huge hit on our goal of creating a brand new genre of motivational speeches and music that positively impacts and changes the lives of millions.
We’ve always seen ourselves as separate from the traditional spoken word and poetry genre that exists. We create and produce audios full of inspirational speeches, vocals and music. All of our audios have background music, unlike the comedy genre, similar to just about every other genre like Pop and Hip Hop. And with Spotify shutting down spoken word, we are being unfairly and completely removed from their platform.
At the moment, Tunecore (our distributor) is also blocking us from distributing our releases under a different genre. The reason they have given us is that they don’t want to be held liable for putting us in an “incorrect” genre. We will be reaching out directly to Spotify.
If anyone has any suggestions, leave a comment below. Please spread the word that removal of all Spoken Word content from Spotify USA is NOT the solution!
Editor’s note: All of the Motiversity audios are still available on Spotify outside of the USA, YouTube channel, Motivation Daily podcast, Mindset App, Apple Music, and every other music streaming platform.