Quincy Jones: “If Thriller Came Out Today, I’d Want It On Spotify”



22 Responses

        • Paul Resnikoff
          Paul Resnikoff

          Oh, you’re referring to a curating partnership. OK, that’s a little different then equity stakes, though it doesn’t rule it out.

          Spotify debuted the first of these Wednesday, with curated apps from Quincy Jones, Tiësto, Rancid and Disturbed, in the the hopes that music fans will dig deeper and discover new music, while having their favorite artist serve as a tour guide.

          • GGG

            Right, equity or no, he is/was still being paid by them, which will direct his viewpoint. But he can still legitimately support streaming/Spotify, which is why he chose to say yes to that anyway. It doesn’t mean SPotify is like paying him to post stuff like that.

        • Musicservices4less

          One thing that needs to be mentioned about the 70% split concept. That split was basically developed and used as the model from iTunes. But, and a big but, iTunes has no free option except for 30 seconds of preview. If Spotify, etc. did the same it would make sense. Otherwise Spotify, etc. needs to pay not based on some net revenue computation but a straight (not deductions, reductions, etc.) royalty per stream that is a fixed sum regardless of net revenue. It will force Spotify, etc. to be a real business and at the same time pay master and musical composition owners a realistic royalty like any other business that licenses copyrights and patents. I would love to run my business (independent label) and pay my artists and producers 70% of my “net” revenue. I would never lose any money and most likely make money every year while insuring that I cover all my overhead.

          • Musicservices4less

            Also if these “businesses” would get real, the only issue would be piracy which will eventually and I believe quickly in light of the FCC’s new involvement in Internet issues, would be substantially reduced because the ISP’s would finally be forced to close down infringing websites, lockers, etc. The access to the internet should be regulated just like any other utility. Free gas? Free electric? Free water? How about getting stolen gas, electricity and water? That’s tolerated by our society, right? And by the way, Google and You Tube are websites. In fact everything on the Internet is a website accessed thru and controlled by ISPs.

  1. Bryan

    He’d also much prefer that people bought the album so he could make some money to support MJ’s tour and plastic surgery.

  2. marko

    “Lets work together” LOL… when someone says he wants to take what i have, and offer me fractions of fractions of a pennies because its better than someone just stealing it, well… it doesnt feeling like working together. Feels like bending over, and being told to smile about it.

  3. Anonymous

    Wonder if Rod Temperton – who wrote and composed the song – shares Quincy’s sentiments.

    • Faza (CM)


      I have to keep reminding people that in the actual story (the fisherman and the genie), the genie was – in fact – “persuaded” (conned) to get back in the bottle and only then did the negotiations that brought about the happy ending begin.

      • Anonymous


        Unfortunately, the actual story is a fairy tale. I think Q is looking at reality.

  4. Willis

    Q, and his advisory team, understand technology and the opportunities that exist today.

  5. DHendersonCO

    What is this a popularity contest? Quincy, love and respect you, but show us the numbers. No way you would have made anywhere near as many sales (units) or revenue (dollars) had you released Thriller on Spotify. Spotify shares a ridiculously low payout 70% with artists. The important part is not the 70%… it’s the ridiculous low absolute pay out rate…..not to mention it cannibalizes sales… so I’m calling bullshit, with all due respect!

  6. R.P.

    as much as some of you might hate it, he is right. Where are the numbers on how Spotify has effected Piracy?

    “Spotify’s growth in 2014, like nearly every other digital company, has mostly been in the mobile space. What makes that interesting is that you can’t listen to a particular song on demand on Spotify’s free mobile service. You are forced to listen to music on a random shuffle instead. Most of that listening, by app design and consumer choice, goes to playlists. By extension, this means the majority of free plays on Spotify are just a different iteration of internet radio. When you understand that, limiting music to the paid-only version of Spotify becomes an obvious mistake. Spotify should be embraced as this tier pays a higher royalty rate than Pandora does.” – Jay Frank

  7. Reality

    It still amazes me every day that readers of DMN still focus on Spotify and others when the obvious issue is the labels and publishers. The time has come (quite some time ago) to cut out the middle man. And any artist or writer here is brainwashed if they think that 70% will not be satisfactory. The only issue are the middlemen who we don’t need any more. You don’t need a relationship with Spotify like you did with Tower Records. You don’t need a radio rep with Pandora like you did with Clear Channel. You are free to make your money and in the process of getting free you supported things like Sound Exchange and letting ASCAP speak for you. All that did was help the middleman stay in the mix and keep their hands in your pockets.

  8. Versus

    He’s right that piracy is the enemy.

    I am very disappointed at recent music industry conferences that many independent labels have apparently given up on the piracy issue as a lost cause. If that is a lost cause, then we should all just give up. It’s never a lost cause.

    The piracy issue is the intellectual property issue, and that is far greater than just the plight of musicians and labels. As more an more work moves from the creation of physical product to the creation of intangible mental and easily stolen digital product, respect for intellectual property rights is essential to the livelihood of millions. This includes everyone from musicians, authors, book publishers, filmmakers. researchers, scientists, inventors, innovators and creators of all stripes.

  9. FarePlay

    Mr Jones, I respect you, but I don’t believe you. You would be short changing one of the best selling artists at their peak. What did that album sell? 26 million?

    Now, clearly Michael wouldn’t sell that many copies today, but the number would be in the Adele range if not higher. Next question. Can Spotify afford to pay these artists?

    When a company justifys their existence by claiming to be the lesser of two evils and we’re the good guys because we pay 70% of our revenue to artists, you have to wonder what’s their value proposition.

  10. right

    right: you’d love to have just tens of thousands of dollars from streaming plays instead of tens of millions from record sales.


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