We’re the Black Keys. And Yes, We’re Still Boycotting Spotify

This is a philosophical divide, not a complex windowing strategy.

After withholding their latest album, El Camino, indefinitely from the shelves to Spotify, the Black Keys are also starving the service of their just-released EP.  Just last night, the group released a six-song Tour Rehearsal Tapes on iTunes, with each track positioned at $1.29.


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“For unknown bands and smaller bands, it’s a really good thing to get yourself out there.  But for a band that makes a living selling music, [streaming] is not at a point yet to be feasible for us.”

Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, December, 2011.

26 Responses

    • FarePlay

      The issues with Spotify are certainly heating up. I do find it interesting that there was a press release about Spotify going after the Japanesse market, yesterday, literally the day after deezer talked about their successful “non-us” marketing strategy and their $130 million of fresh investment.

      As unpopular as this may sound, services like Spotify and Pandora are not viable businesses and squeezing the artists to make their unrealistic business plans work is f….up. Yes, the listener needs to pay more, if they want an all you can eat gourmet buffet.

      There is no doubt streaming and cloud based personal libraries are here to stay. Let’s just get the compensation right, so there is a middle class for musicians.

      Will Buckley, founder, FarePlay

      • Angry Russian citizen

        OK, let’s pay more. But what about corporations squeezing artists? Every time I see a musician signing a deal with a major or selling his/her music via Itunes instead of more user-friendly (and artist-friendly) services like Bandcamp I start thinking that s/he has no reason to blame his fate.

        • LWG

          Didn’t your mama ever explain that two wrongs don’t make a right? Major labels are still, even in the modern world, not doing right in the universe – and neither ae Spotify and Pandora.

          • Angry Russian citizen

            As you can see above I’m not advocating Spotify or Pandora, so your comment is pointless.

    • Faza (TCM)

      We apologise for thinking that people who expect that $120 p.a. is a fair price for all music that has ever been recorded are highly delusional.

        • Visitor

          And if you only pay $4.99/month like me, its only $60 a year!

      • Visitor

        Go back in your time machine to the past where you belong. Streaming is the future whether you like it or not.

        • LWG

          Absolutely – streaming is the future! But pay a fair price for the privilege of listening to the music and put monetary value on the creative effort/intelligence and hard work of the creative people who made it. If you had the ability to make music other people wanted to listen to, you would work at it like you do your day job and expect not to work for free, right? But since you don’t have the innate ability to make that music, why shouldn’t you pay to get it? Just like you do a car (which you probably don’t have the ability to create) or an iPhone (which you probably don’t have the ability to create), or anything else you can’t create that you buy because you want. Stream away. Just pay an equitable price for the right.

          • Visitor

            If I can rent movies from Netflix for $7.99/month, I think its more then reasonable to rent music from Spotify for $9.99/month. Don’t you?

          • Visitor

            That’s the weirdest type of logic I’ve seen today…

            You almost sound like you think you have the right to buy a certain product at a price that seems ‘reasonable’ to you.

  1. Businessoutsider

    I am Paul Resnikoff and Yes I have a problem.
    Every post I write contains the word Spotify.

    My site is called Digital Music News but I never bring news. I copy/paste articles from other sites or make stuff up.

  2. Rocks Diamond

    So where’s the Goldman Sachs funding round Digital Music News keeps pointing to hmmm? Fell through?

  3. Nez

    Streaming sites clients are record labels not artists. Whilst its easy to point the finger at the streaming services payment models surely the labels should be held accountable for how they distribute that money?

    If Lady Gaga recieved $167 for 1 million plays on Spotify it would be interesting to know how much the label recieved…..Just sayin’

    • LWG

      I think even if the labels paid through more equitably, per artist revenue would not be much. Streaming services don’t pay enough for the music they build their business on. Labels don’t pay enough through to artist. It’s just a crooked crooked chain and one crook doesn’t absolve the other.

    • Visitor

      Best comment on here! Sure didn’t hurt them! I really cant stand all of these cry babies who hate Spotify. The Black Keys are living in the past just like Coldplay.

      • Visitor

        Living in the past, or laughing all the way to the bank?

        The Black Keys and their team are professionals. They know what they are doing…

  4. Facts Please...

    I checked other retailers and either TBK is boycotting everyone now, or its what some would call an “itunes exclusive”.

  5. lowlights

    To be fair – streaming is like radio – only one-on-one radio. Radio has always been a micro-royalty situation – your song played on a 5,000 watt station and you get 6 cents (or did back in the day). Maybe 10,000 people heard your song, maybe they didn’t.

    Now – your song gets streamed to a single listener (or hopefully more) on demand, and you get a micro-royalty. Yes, it’s hundredths of a cent, but it was only a single pair of ears.

    I have a Rhapsody account, and I love streaming and yes, I buy a few tracks after hearing, and some I just come back to the well and listen again when I want to. It is definitely one way of the future.

    If it needs to pay higher royalties, great – let’s get that in place. But let’s not say “oh, the record companies this and Bandcamp that or iTunes takes such and such”. Perhaps one person will come along and say “Hey, I can build the next iTunes and only take a dime, instead of 30 cents, for each track sold, and I’ll also pay a higher royalty, of my own volition, for streaming” – where is that person? Where is that community of music-loving tech?