Enrique Iglesias Sues Universal for Unpaid Streaming Royalties

Iglesias is accusing Universal of "systematically underpaying" him.


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A few years back, Enrique Iglesias signed with Sony Music, but it seems he's run into issues with his previous record label. Iglesias was signed to Universal Music Group for a good chunk of his career, releasing his last album on the label back in 2014 with his album Sex and Love. Now, Iglesias is claiming that Universal Music Group have been underpaying him regarding streaming royalties, filing a new lawsuit this week in a Miami federal court, Billboard reports.

The suit says Iglesias is asking to inspect Universal's bookkeeping, after he described what he received from them as a "small fraction" of his 50 percent royalty rate for streaming. Iglesias believes that Universal Music Group's "improper accounting" is to thank for unpaid millions in streaming royalties, and subsequently he's demanding the court enforce his streaming rate and the label pay the unpaid royalties.

"Few business relationships in the history of the music industry have achieved the commercial success attained by Enrique Iglesias and Universal: 100 million albums sold, billions of streams, and repeat appearances at the top of the Billboard charts," Iglesias' attorney James Sammataro told Billboard. "Despite this record-breaking success, Universal has wrongly insisted that artists like Enrique be paid for streams in the same manner as they are paid for physical records despite the fact that none of the attendant costs (production, distribution, inventory, losses) actually exist in the digital world. This is not what Enrique’s contract, or the contracts of many other artists, call for."

Universal was Iglesias' home from 1999 to 2015, and the suit makes it clear that Universal failed to update his contract in regards to streaming royalties. 

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