Right before Thanksgiving, 2021 Spotify took down a large number of comedy albums. The question is why.
The answer has to do with the fact that just because a comedian like Robin Williams says the words "Reality, what a concept" as opposed to sings them doesn't mean he does not have a copyright that needs to be licensed and a royalty paid when it streams.
What happens if a streaming service like Spotify streams comedy albums without the needed licenses. The answer is not funny at all.
Comedians' works are streamed and broadcast across Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, SiriusXM, and more. However, unlike music where royalties are paid for two copyrights (composition and master recording), Comedians have only ever been paid royalties on the recording of their performance, not on the underlying literary work (equivalent of a composition). Jeff Price, founder of Word Collections and previous founder of Tunecore, Audiam, and more is setting out to fix that by helping comedians license and collect royalties owed to them for their unlicensed literary works.