Skip to main content

Defected Records' new royalty rate is all but defective.

Shortly after Defected announced Wez Saunders as the company's new CEO, it's making moves that aim to set a new royalty rate standard for artists and music producers around the world.

Saunders has set the tone for the industry with Defected's minimum 30% royalty rate for any recording artist and producer signed to the label, Music Week reports. A majority of the label's roster is already locked into the rate and Defected will also provide quarterly royalty reports to all of its producers, artists and songwriters in an effort to add transparency.

wez saunders

Defected Records CEO Wez Saunders.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles


Pophouse Entertainment Acquires Majority Stake In Avicii's Catalog

Avicii's family said the transaction will help secure the financial future of the Tim Bergling Foundation.

Santino's On Heaven

Santino's Rooftop "On Heaven" In the Underground Dance Music Destination of Playa Del Carmen

Nestled along Mexico’s Caribbean shoreline in Playa del Carmen is one of best hidden spots for underground dance music, Santino Playa.

dirtybird campout

"Ganja Garden": Cannabis Culture Comes to Dirtybird Campout

Now you can buy cannabis, learn to roll it and smoke it at Dirtybird’s famously ratchet, summer camp-themed music festival—and it's 100% legal.

In addition to the heightened royalty rate, Defected has reportedly written off un-recouped royalties dating back to pre-2012. This means that artists who were signed prior to 2012 and issued an advance—but never made enough money to pay it back—now do not have a balance with the label. The move is said to have been made to alleviate the monetary pressures that musicians have endured since COVID-19 shook up the live performance industry.

The new royalty rate positions Saunders as an artists-first leader and could serve as a harbinger of how labels compensate artists and writers.

"Defected's mission is to service our community while helping artists build longer lasting, more impactful and more profitable careers," Saunders said. "These changes are a natural progression with artists in mind, one that ensures we continue to think about the future of the music industry, with artist benefits at the forefront of our commercial strategies."


Simon Dunmore Defected Records

Iconic Defected Records Label Acquired by Former Managing Director and CEO

"My intuition has guided me well and I have decided that for the company to continue its progressive journey that it needs a new approach, fresh energy."

Navigating the songwriting process and staying out of legal trouble

Copyright Law: Navigating the Songwriting Process and Staying out of (Legal) Trouble

Prevent hiccups in this lengthy process by not infringing other artists' rights.

white house

Copyright Royalty Board Approves Rate Increase for Songwriters and Music Publishers

The news precipitated an appeal from four major providers of streaming services.

songwriting songwriters

Songwriters Get Hit In the Wallet by Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora... Again

David Israelite, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, said major streaming services "have proposed the lowest royalty rates in history."


"Race to the Bottom": U.S. Representative Drafts Letter to Congress for Music Streaming Royalty Reform

"Streaming music platforms' payouts per stream are minuscule, and declining each year—leaving working musicians with little of the income generated by these platforms."


How It All Started: Dance Music's Most Influential Labels Reflect On Their First-Ever Release

We caught up with Anjunabeats, Defected Records, and more of the most storied record labels in electronic music to reflect on their first-ever release—and the history it inspired.

Bridges for Music

Defected Records Announces New Label and Partnership with South African Nonprofit Bridges for Music

Defected will sponsor five students per term at Bridges Academy in Langa, Cape Town.