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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says working musicians can no longer release music only “once every three to four years.” Spotify's stock value hit all-time highs of $50 billion this summer.


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seriously fuck that platform and this fucking douchebag. i'm glad i pulled all my stuff from these shitty streaming services. 

couldn't find the apropriate thread to bump so i started a new one. i hate the idea of "content creators" for explotative services like spotify that just want to please their stock holders. gives me rage vibes. 

lazy passive listeners who pay pennies a month even though their phones have plenty of room for quality copies of their favorite 30 or 50 albums. wHo hAs ThE tImE tO SeT uP tHeiR pHoNe fOr ThAt???

/rant

https://www.thefader.com/2020/07/30/spotify-ceo-daniel-ek-says-working-musicians-can-no-longer-release-music-only-once-every-three-to-four-years?utm_source=tftw

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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek discussed streaming and sustainability in a recent interview with Music Ally published on Thursday. Ek denied criticisms that Spotify pays insufficient royalties to artists, and insisted that the role of the musician had changed in today's "future landscape."

 

Ek claimed that a "narrative fallacy" had been created and caused music fans to believe that Spotify doesn't pay musicians enough for streams of their music. "Some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape," Ek said, "where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.”

What is required from successful musicians, Ek insisted, was a deeper, more consistent, and prolonged commitment than in the past. “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.”

 

 

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"your art must conform to to the market, specifically the type of market that I control" the absolute narcissism of the rich

Never used Spotify, never will

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"your art must conform to to the market, specifically the type of market that I control"

the absolute narcissism of the rich

Edited by cyanobacteria
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I feel the same as my fellow WATMMers here. I tried a spotify account long ago, and hated it so much. Always strongly prefer to give money to the artists and get a physical artifact as a memento/thing I can play in my 3x300 disc CD changers or turntables, anyway. I will admit to using Youtube Premium to help me decide if I'm on the fence about purchasing an album, but it's not my go-to, and probably never will be. 

 

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When will we stop saying "changing the landscape" as though it's always for the FUCKING better? Not all change is good! Some fucking asshole who has the weight to throw around can demolish a beautiful landscape and then claim it's been changed forever as though that means the same thing as "changed for the better". 

While we shouldn't get nostalgic for a time that never was--it's not like musicians had it great before these streaming platforms came along--we shouldn't pretend that these changes that this douchebag is touting are the changes that were needed! 

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Sorry, this is burning my ass pretty raw right now. One more thought for the moment: this fucking needy idea that fans deserve "constant dialogue" with their beloved artists is so fucking whack. Must have been rough for fans of Carravagio or Mozart or whatever. Life was so rough for John-Q-Member-of-the-Music-Loving-Public or Sally Creams-for-Sculpture. What a wonderful new "future landscape" these benevolent capital Gods like Ek are able to do for us. It's not like they saw a vulnerable market and were able to exploit it for the sake of profits: oh no, they are helping to make this future landscape so much better by dictating the terms for what it takes to be an artist in this beautiful new landscape. Oh, thank you Capitan Ek! Thank you! You command those musicians so that they know what it takes to be an artist in today's world. So much for laboring over your craft, oh no--you must be in "constant fucking dialogue" with your fans. 

Jesus. 

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1 hour ago, ignatius said:

Lazy passive listeners who pay pennies a month even though their phones have plenty of room for quality copies of their favorite 30 or 50 albums. wHo hAs ThE tImE tO SeT uP tHeiR pHoNe fOr ThAt??

Mate what are you on about, the average listener wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between high quality flacs and what spotify streams. In their eyes it's just a pain in the ass and more expensive for literally no change to buy hq stuff from artists and put in on their phones. Hate steaming services all you want but you have to be braindead to think it's just "laziness".

 

Everyone's always crying about how the music industry is ruined thanks to streaming services, piracy, whatever the fuck. Just sounds like excuses for why they aren't making bank. In the music industry where these issues didn't exist the barrier to entry was way higher AND you were completely at the mercy of record labels to pick up your stuff anyway.

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Surely I’m not the only one who’s also concerned about the ecologic costs of streaming?

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You guys are all going to love when they fully vertically integrate and use the user data to produce music; elevate it within their playlists and platforms to influence trends; whilst reducing their outgoings to any of their artists.

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, vkxwz said:

Mate what are you on about, the average listener wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between high quality flacs and what spotify streams. In their eyes it's just a pain in the ass and more expensive for literally no change to buy hq stuff from artists and put in on their phones. Hate steaming services all you want but you have to be braindead to think it's just "laziness".

 

Everyone's always crying about how the music industry is ruined thanks to streaming services, piracy, whatever the fuck. Just sounds like excuses for why they aren't making bank. In the music industry where these issues didn't exist the barrier to entry was way higher AND you were completely at the mercy of record labels to pick up your stuff anyway.

throwing a shit ton of 320bit rate mp3s on a phone takes no time. i'm not making the quality argument. that'll be dead eventually whenever we're surrounded by 10,000 amazon/tesla satellites blasting the planet w/broadband.

i'm not making any excuses about why i'm not making bank off music. i know why i'm not making bank off music. it's not spotify's fault. however there are a shit ton of working msuicians out there making ago of it and streaming does zero for them. absolutely nothing.  yet spotify uses their music and the artist gets nothign in return. it's simply not equitable. it's a bad deal. 

I know it's super conveient to stream for a lot of people.. i consider ultra convenience to often be pretty lazy. consider me brain dead if you want. shrug. it's designed to be that way so people make no real effort other than the fans who get into it and make playlists there share "look i made this IDM playlist with 300 of my favorite songs and it took 2 weeks" yada yada yada.. i get it. i just think it's fucking lame and mostly a passive experience. 

i think we can do better than surrender to tech bros applying their same metric for how they sell purple mattresses to how music is delivered. 

as for major record labels.. yeah.. we can split the difference there. most were just like banks laoning money to pay for a record to be made then pushing the product.. but a history of major labels is more interesting than now. from blues and jazz and hip hop etc.. there's all kinds of horror stories of musicians getting ripped off but also all kinds of glory for artists who had life long careers.

annnyyyywayyy... i'd be less annoyed with spotify if they actually gave a shit about artists and paid people instead of paying $2 million a month in rent to have their office in the world trade center. 

i wonder what artists actually get paid from streaming? other than beyonce i mean... i'll have to dig up this article i read a while back that laid it out like the money flows from the bottom up when it comes to streaming.. and that's how the entire music industry has gone the last 15 years or so. all the gains at the top. 

https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/09/26/spotify-33-million-world-trade-center/

Spotify Is Paying $2.77 Million a Month In Rent for Its World Trade Center Offices

Spotify’s splashy World Trade Center digs include 14 floors of breathtaking scenery.  But it also required a 17-year lease — for more than $566 million in total rent.

Edited by ignatius
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thank you for making thread.  that article also drove me crazy (full article, although it is also just a summary of an interview: https://musically.com/2020/07/30/spotify-ceo-talks-covid-19-artist-incomes-and-podcasting-interview/).

But especially him using taylor swift as an example of an artist 'making it' on spotify as proof its a good system.. thats like saying there should be no checks on capitalism because hey, its working for billionaires who have conveniently also been privileged their whole lives.

2 hours ago, cyanobacteria said:

"your art must conform to to the market, specifically the type of market that I control"

the absolute narcissism of the rich

qft

Edited by markedone
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Spotify always reminds me of Tim Wu's excellent article The Tyranny of Convenience (The New York Times):

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But we err in presuming convenience is always good, for it has a complex relationship with other ideals that we hold dear. Though understood and promoted as an instrument of liberation, convenience has a dark side. With its promise of smooth, effortless efficiency, it threatens to erase the sort of struggles and challenges that help give meaning to life. Created to free us, it can become a constraint on what we are willing to do, and thus in a subtle way it can enslave us

[...]

As task after task becomes easier, the growing expectation of convenience exerts a pressure on everything else to be easy or get left behind. We are spoiled by immediacy and become annoyed by tasks that remain at the old level of effort and time. When you can skip the line and buy concert tickets on your phone, waiting in line to vote in an election is irritating. This is especially true for those who have never had to wait in lines (which may help explain the low rate at which young people vote).

I think there's value in not letting someone else or machine learning to choose the music you listen to, so I personally don't care about radio or streaming services at all - I spend a sizeable chunk of my time actively searching for and sampling all kinds of music I could be interested in and I love making the connections between artists, labels and styles of music on my own instead of delegating the task to an algorithm. I don't want to be a passive consumer of music (or anything else), I prefer agency, so I purposefully avoid Spotify and its ilk - and if I like something, I want the artist to get paid so if possible, I buy their music as directly as I can.

Edited by dcom
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Just want to say that while my username is similar to Ek, I am not Ek, and don't want anything to do with this creep.

 

Also this all is pretty new business so I hope in the future this gets figured out and the musicians get more respect.

 

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2 hours ago, Stickfigger said:

You guys are all going to love when they fully vertically integrate and use the user data to produce music; elevate it within their playlists and platforms to influence trends; whilst reducing their outgoings to any of their artists.

i'm not scared of this.  once any type of music can become automatically generated, it becomes the job of the artist to transcend the dominant art of their time.  it will generate weirder, more spontaneous, more personal, more abstract, more weird, art.  rare audio processing pipelines with special grain that no algorithms have heard yet.  progressiveness that is both cohesive and temporally decoupled.  there is nothing to fear in math, violence against art will merely improve it

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Ek claimed that a "narrative fallacy" had been created and caused music fans to believe that Spotify doesn't pay musicians enough for streams of their music. "Some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape," Ek said, "where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.”

What is required from successful musicians, Ek insisted, is a deeper, more consistent, and prolonged commitment than in the past. “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.”

What Ek is doing is creating a narrative fallacy of his own, claiming that artists are required to engage with their fan base; he wants to reject any other reality and substitute it with his own (with a nod to Adam Savage) so that the dominant paradigm is to feed the insatiable novelty cycle the tech platforms thrive on. Of course he wants artists to release early and release often so that their output can become fodder for his service to grind. I think it's a fallacy that artists owe their fan base (or tech platforms or tech bros for that matter) anything - artists are not required to "continuously engage" and have "continuous dialogue" with their fan base. Ek is an extraction capitalist, he's pumping both the musicians and their audiences for resources (music and data) to make a buck, plain and simple; just another douche of the highest order seeking to "disrupt" - naturally he wants to control the narrative for his own benefit.

Fuck this guy in particular.

Edited by dcom
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It's all Silicon Valley logic to me. Ek makes as much sense as Zuckberg. It's a heavily skewed logic. But with truth behind it, because the monopoly is real. There are lots of people lost in their walled gardens. And the more people in their walled garden, the stronger their ability to play the role of the leader of a cult. Lots of followers who believe in what they preach, I'm guessing. For the outsider, at least for me, it's mostly scientology-speak.

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3 hours ago, cyanobacteria said:

"your art must conform to to the market, specifically the type of market that I control"

the absolute narcissism of the rich

This is basically how MTV got ruined starting in the late 90s

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The guy is not wrong and historically the anomaly is not Spotify but the phenomenon where a limited number of artists could get obscenely rich selling comparatively small collections of recordings of songs.

Recordings which, I would like to point out, these artists (and their entourage) spend their good time making, squandering most of that time on snorting coke and getting blow jobs.

But yeah, it kind of sucks for the type of artists we tend to be into on this forum as all that glorious, glorious Iddemz only *exists* in recorded form.

Luckily there is Bandcamp (which also is something of a monopoly, btw).

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First of all, fuck Spotify. I think we can all agree on that. I always refer back to that article where Portisheads explains that they've each made $2500 on 34 million plays. So, no thank you. I'm gonna buy my music instead.

Second of all, Spotify has yet to make a profit (well, they did for a very short moment). How can you still be open for business when your net income is € -193 million?

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Spotify was terrible to begin with, now it's big, greedy AND crap. 

I don't understand why anyone would use Spotify when there's so many better options available; good old Piratebay, Bandcamp etc. or the artists very own website are way better. And listening to music from a phone is odd in the first place too unless it's YouTube or something which can't always be readily converted to mp3 and put on an mp3 player.   

 

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