Update 01/17 1:55PM - Materia Collective has told us it intends to pay all owed royalties in full by mid-February. According to an email sent to us by the Collective, this was an "accounting issue" and doesn't reflect financial problems; the Collective says it has the money on hand to pay artists right now. Additionally, they will be paying out 100% of outstanding royalties, and waiving their normal minimum payment threshold.
In a statement, the Materia Collective said:
We’ve said this in our own channels as well; we know that we’re going to have to take consistent action to prove ourselves to our community after this. We have struggled to keep up with our responsibilities — our company was built on the foundation of a fan community, and our growth as a business has been reactive instead of proactive.
It’s obvious that we need to step back and improve our systems to accommodate our growth and the 2,000 artists and payees who rely on Materia. Our music reaches millions of people every month, and we promise to artists and fans alike that creators of our favorite music will be compensated for each stream, each download, each sale.
We will be working closely with our artist roster to regain trust through open and honest communication, regular payments, and transparent royalty reports.
Original story follows below.
Original story: Gaming music label Materia Collective has come under criticism for missing royalty payments owed to certain artists. The label has since apologized on social media and pledged to rectify the situation, but more artists are coming forward to criticize it.
Why is Materia Collective being criticized?
The controversy started after Celeste B-Sides composer 2 Mello took to Twitter to accuse Materia Collective of not paying royalties to him. 2 Mello also said he knew of "at least three" other artists on the Celeste B-Sides compilation, which consists of remixes of the main game's music. According to 2 Mello, he and the other Celeste artists had not been paid by Materia since July 2019, when the company began handling payments to artists for the release. 2 Mello says he's inquired repeatedly about this to Materia Collective, but to no avail.
2 Mello isn't the only artist to come forward and criticize Materia for missed royalty payments. Final Fantasy VIII remix artist Laura Intravia says she's missing payments for the last 13 months. Alex Parrish, who composed for VR adventure game Zed, says he's had no communication from Materia since the soundtrack album went live. There's also composer Danilo Ciaffi, who says that in two years, he's never received any information whatsoever from Materia regarding his contributions to the label.
What is Materia Collective's response to this situation?
Materia team here, re: payout issues; we’ve been in a meeting all afternoon to make a plan. We didn’t realize just how widespread this was; that’s on us. We’ve been treading water a long time with our reporting/accounting tools; we grew too fast for our team to keep up.— Materia Collective (@MateriaColl) January 14, 2021
For its part, Materia Collective has acknowledged the issues brought up by artists and says it's working on a solution. According to Materia, its team will be prioritizing this issue and will be working towards "both short-term and long-term ways" to get money into artists' hands. Materia says it didn't realize how widespread the issue was and has been "treading water a long time" with its accounting tools. The label goes on to say that it "grew too fast" for its accounting team to keep up, leading to missed payments.
If you're a composer that's been affected by this Materia Collective issue, then the label says you should email them with your concerns. The label says it will "try to answer as quickly as [it] can". We've reached out to Materia Collective ourselves for comment regarding this issue and will bring you more as soon as we get it.
How do you feel about these missed royalty payments? Let us know in the comments below!