Benn Jordan vs TuneCore: “23 albums nuked overnight with no warning”
“Whether this is malice related to my Spotify criticism or simply negligence, this is dystopian for reasons much larger than myself or my loss of income.”
- READ MORE: Benn Jordan is done with making gear videos and reviews, cites “super toxic” community as cause
Speaking to his audience via his Gumroad page, Jordan recounts the experience of finding his music removed from digital streaming platforms (DSPs): “Last Friday (10 February, 2024), I randomly pulled out my phone in the studio to reference one of my soundtracks for a composing collaboration. ‘Huh. My phone is bugging out,’ I complained.
“Then I noticed dozens of notifications: various listeners letting me know their feelings regarding my removal of all of my music. ‘What… the… fu?’
“And just like that, poof. I was erased from Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Deezer, YouTube Music, and virtually everywhere music is sold or streamed. I logged into TuneCore (my primary digital distributor since 2007), and without warning or any communication, they removed a total of 23 albums.”
Taking to Twitter, Jordan posted screenshots of his TuneCore artist page and a conversation with TuneCore, which claims Spotify had “identified and removed a high amount of streams” from his royalty calculation due to “evidence of abnormal streaming activity” on his releases. It also claims to have conducted “an additional internal investigation” and confirmed the evidence.
On what fucking planet is it okay to ban an artist with 1.6 million annual listeners without any communication?
Is this literally what happens when you criticize the way streaming platforms treat musicians?
— Benn Jordan (@bennjordan) February 10, 2024
“An ‘internal investigation’ has confirmed ‘evidence’ of streaming fraud on Spotify,” Jordan writes on X/Twitter.
“Therefore, The Flashbulb and my other music has been permanently removed from all platforms. 23 albums nuked overnight with no warning or communication.
“Give me a fucking break TuneCore.”
An "internal investigation" has confirmed "evidence" of streaming fraud on Spotify.
Therefore, The Flashbulb and my other music has been permanently removed from all platforms.
23 albums nuked overnight with no warning or communication.
— Benn Jordan (@bennjordan) February 12, 2024
After TuneCore’s CEO, Andreea Gleeson, responded to inform him his enquiry would be handled after the weekend, Jordan responded: “I guess the guy who deletes 23 albums without warning or communication works weekends and the support staff that deals with the artist(s) and label affected doesn’t.
“Good thing my 300k monthly listeners don’t listen to music on weekends.”
I guess the guy who deletes 23 albums without warning or communication works weekends and the support staff that deals with the artist(s) and label affected doesn't. 🤷🏼
Good thing my 300k monthly listeners don't listen to music on weekends. https://t.co/16IQBgt34V
— Benn Jordan (@bennjordan) February 12, 2024
Jordan has provided MusicTech with a folder of his correspondences with TuneCore, along with his streaming history across multiple platforms including Spotify. One item mentioned that the removal of his music could amount to $500,000 worth of losses.
He later said that TuneCore’s support had “finally” reached out to him and accused him of fraud, and he is now having to meet with legal counsel as a result.
Gleeson has responded to the backlash: “Thanks for the candid feedback and totally agree that we need more and deeper weekend support. This is something we are actively working on expanding.”
Jordan also tells MusicTech: “Whether this is malice related to my Spotify criticism or simply negligence, this is dystopian for reasons much larger than myself or my loss of income. While being erased from existence and gaslit is among one of the worst things that can happen to an artist, if there was one fight I was born to fight, it’s this one.
“I have millions of listeners and my music is on over 300,000 active playlists. These listeners pay a fee to listen to this music, and now it seems to be unavailable even if they downloaded it. The streaming music industry is so broken that it can no longer provide the simple transaction it spent billions of dollars trying to replace.”
The “Spotify criticism” Jordan alludes to includes a variety of video essays posted to his YouTube channel, such as How Money Laundering W/ Spotify Works, and Why Spotify Will Ultimately Fail. In his correspondence with TuneCore, he states that he has “never been involved in any type of streaming fraud. In fact, I’ve done extensive journalism to expose it.”
MusicTech has reached out to TuneCore for comment.
Jordan is offering his entire discography for download at a ‘pay what you want’ price tag. “Pay what you want. Seriously,” reads the message on Gumroad. “If you’re broke, pay the minimum and enjoy the music. If you’re generous, this will certainly help me out as I’ve just had a significant portion of my income cut off and may be entering an expensive legal battle.”
Read more at The Flashbulb Gumroad page.
Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.Subscribe