Rockers React to Spotify CEO, Call Him a ‘Greedy Little S—’
Musicians have responded with pointed words after Spotify CEO Daniel Ek suggested artists need to churn out new material at a faster pace.
In an interview with Music Ally, Ek insinuated that the traditional model of releasing music - when artists would take years between albums - was no longer sustainable in the streaming era.
“Some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape,” the tech billionaire opined. “You can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.”
A number of notable artists have shot back since Ek’s comments were published, criticizing the Spotify CEO for not understanding the effort that goes into making music.
“While you (the listener) benefit & enjoy Spotify, it's part of what's killing a major income stream for artist/creators,” noted Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider. “The amount of artists ‘rich enough’ to withstand this loss are about .0001%. Daniel Ek's solution is for us to write & record more on our dime?! Fuck him!”
Meanwhile, R.E.M. founding member Mike Mills surmised Ek’s viewpoint as, “Music = product and must be churned out regularly,” before telling the Spotify CEO to “Go fuck yourself.” David Crosby struck a similar tone, calling Ek “an obnoxious greedy little shit.”
Spotify, the most used music platform in the world, has given consumers access to more content than ever before. Though the streaming service has created a new avenue for artists to cultivate their fanbase, it has continually come under fire for the way it compensates musicians. Estimates suggest that artists earn roughly $0.00437 per song play.
Still, Ek insists that his company's payment practices are fair. “Unequivocally, from the data, there are more and more artists that are able to live off streaming income in itself,” the CEO declared, describing suggestions otherwise as a “narrative fallacy.” “I feel, really, that the ones that aren’t doing well in streaming are predominantly people who want to release music the way it used to be released.”