TWISTED SISTER singer Dee Snider, former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach and ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy are among the musicians who have taken issue with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek's suggestion that artists need to be more prolific in the streaming age.
For years, Spotify has been criticized for offering paltry payouts to musicians and songwriters, with some claiming that the service gives major-label artists an unfair advantage via playlist placement and other promotional avenues.
In an interview published Thursday, Ek told Music Ally: "Even today on our marketplace, there's literally millions and millions of artists. What tends to be reported are the people that are unhappy, but we very rarely see anyone who's talking about… In the entire existence [of Spotify], I don't think I've ever seen a single artist saying, 'I'm happy with all the money I'm getting from streaming,' stating that publicly. In private, they have done that many times, but in public, they have no incentive to do it. But unequivocally, from the data, there are more and more artists that are able to live off streaming income in itself.
"There is a narrative fallacy here, combined with the fact that, obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can't record music once every three to four years and think that's going to be enough," he continued.
"The artists today that are making it realize that it's about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans.
"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," he added.
A number of notable artists have since fired back at Ek over his suggestion that artists need to churn out more content if they want to the same money they used to, with many in the music community saying that's just not how the creative process works.
"While you (the listener) benefit & enjoy Spotify, it's part of what's killing a major income stream for artist/creators," Snider tweeted. "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!"
Bach also chimed in, writing: "When this guy puts out an album himself I will listen to him tell me about my albums."
Portnoy was equally critical of Ek's comments, tweeting: "What a greedy little bitch...it's bad enough that he's worth BILLIONS based on stealing and giving away other musician's music...but now he's suggesting we need to make MORE music for HIM to make more money!!! F-@Spotify and F-@eldsjal
"I have 8 full album releases in 2020 & will make PEANUTS on them (if anything at all...) So his theory of artists needing to make MORE music to succeed is shit! F-@eldsjal & F-@Spotify! Support THE ARTISTS DIRECTLY if you want them to be able to continue to make music..."
Last week, Spotify announced its financial results for the second quarter of this year, indicating €1.9 billion ($2.2 billion) in revenues, up 13% year-over-year. Out of the €1.9 billion, €131 million ($154 million) came from advertising while the rest came from subscriptions. Despite increasing revenues, Spotify, however, recorded a sizeable loss of €356 million ($419 million) during the quarter. In the last quarter, Spotify hit a high of 299 million monthly active users, 138 million of whom are paying subscribers via Spotify's premium tier.
(1 of 2) What a greedy little bitch...it's bad enough that he's worth BILLIONS based on stealing and giving away other musician's music...but now he's suggesting we need to make MORE music for HIM to make more money!!! F-@Spotify and F-@eldsjal ??https://t.co/gMCs2lNAPu
— Mike Portnoy ? (@MikePortnoy) August 3, 2020
(2/2) I have 8 full album releases in 2020 & will make PEANUTS on them (if anything at all...) So his theory of artists needing to make MORE music to succeed is shit! F-@eldsjal & F-@Spotify! Support THE ARTISTS DIRECTLY if you want them to be able to continue to make music...?
— Mike Portnoy ? (@MikePortnoy) August 3, 2020
While you (the listener) benefit & enjoy spotify, it's part of what's killing a major income stream for artist/creators. 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! https://t.co/IpPy7QCQWB
— Dee Snider (@deesnider) August 1, 2020
When this guy puts out an album himself I will listen to him tell me about my albums https://t.co/wveGKXTIEk
— Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) July 31, 2020
sure, on one hand Spotify is vampiric and exploitative of naive talent. but on the other hand, $.17 split 5 ways every six months is income I never would have earned had I not sacrificed years of my life to making the music found there. so who's to say, really
— keith buckley (@deathoftheparty) July 31, 2020
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