Stephen Malkmus: ‘Spotify Sucks, But My Music Is On It’…

  • Save

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Stephen Malkmus (of Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and Pavement) mentioned “those evil Spotify places” when discussing playlists. Rolling Stone then asked about his position on Spotify, this is what he had to say:

Rolling Stone: You’re anti-Spotify, then?

Stephen Malkmus: Definitely. I think it sucks. That doesn’t mean my music isn’t on there, though. I’m against a lot of things that I do in life, and I still do them, so there’s a lot of self-deception in all our lives. At least in the life of an unprincipled musician.”

26 Responses

  1. Really??

    Self Deception??


    That’s what you’re going with??



    Shit or get off the pot Steve.

  2. FarePlay

    Until musicians or any artist is willing to stand up and say no to situations they believe are not fair, they will continue to have to settle for what’s offered. But creative people are dreamers by nature, afraid that they may miss their “big break” unless they exhaust every opportunity to be seen or heard. For most, being an artist is like playing the Lotto. The odds suck, but you can’t win if you don’t play or more to the point get play. Until artists deal with their fear and are willing to protect their own interests, they will have no power and continue to be abused.

  3. x1

    Streaming Revenue 2012: $1,032.8 million USD (up 59%)

    $1,500,000,000 is possible for 2013.

    $2,000,000,000 is possible for 2014.

    • FarePlay

      None of these services have demonstrated a commitment to converting free subs to paid subs. Until they do that your numbers are meaningless. And after years or in the case of Pandora nearly a decade of free converting subscribers to paid will be extremely difficult.

      What the musicians and songwriters have going for them? Listeners will go where the music they want to hear is being played. End of story.

      • Casey

        None of them have? I think you should recheck that because Rhapsody and Rdio definitely have. Unfortunately as a result Rhapsody has probably lost more subscribers in the US in recent years than they have gained. Who knows about Rdio, they are way too secretive. But we know they don’t have many subscribers.

        Spotify and Pandora may have no intentions on increasing subscriptions in the immediate future, but that doesn’t mean no one does.

      • Zac Shaw

        LOL FarePlay will change the world of music one Digital Music News post at a time!

  4. x1

    boycott streaming will be like boycotting Itunes back in the days.

  5. JTVDigital

    “My music sucks, but it’s on Spotify” could have been an interesting angle for writing an article…

    • jw

      If you don’t get, fine. But without Pavement, a lot of very, very good bands would not exist.

      By making a comment like that, you look like an asshole or an idiot. Those are really your only two options.

      • FarePlay

        Stupidest argument of the year?

        Prove that Spotify erodes the sale of recorded music.

        • JTVDigital

          Correct. There are no real concrete proofs about this. Recorded music sales decrease naturally as music is perceived by the public as having no value. This is the main issue.

          • Yep

            The perception of ‘value’ in music is an interesting concept. Maybe, the value of music lies in how good it is, how it engages the masses?

            If you look at the growth of the industry from 1962 (The year ‘The Beatles’ released their first record) to now, it could be argued that the quality of popular music has followed this growth?

            Maybe, the internet/technology isn’t the problem, maybe it’s the music?

            We need a new Beatles…

          • FarePlay

            “……Recorded music sales decrease naturally as music is perceived by the public as having no value. This is the main issue.”

            Concrete proof: For over a decade we’ve had an industry that has primarily depended on the courts to deal with piracy, allowing an entire generation to control the “perception” of free as a valid marketing model and harbinger of the future. Now, even the public is beginning to see the serious flaws in this premise and beginning to speak out, along with artists about the lack of workability of using art as a lost leader to sell other products.

            In regard to music, as opposed to film and tv that require payment, the streaming industry has been a major contributor to the notion that music is valueless. Not only are the vast majority of subscribers, FREE, all the streaming services constantly promote the fact that their service is free AND do little to aggressively convert these subscribers from free to paid. Why? Because their success or rather survival is not about profitability, it is about numbers. It is about potential. It is about perception.

            So, JVT Digital, it is in fact your business partners that have contributed mightily to the perception that music is valueless. Then has the audacity to continue to fight to lower their compensation to the very same artists they are forcing out of business as full time working professionals.

            We can’t make a profit because we pay out to much for content. Well perhaps you didn’t really have a business to begin with and you certainly would not be alone with this problem in the tech industry.

            I’d say that is pretty concrete or you can just rail against the logic as some do with global warming.

        • Mr. Obvious

          I rarely buy music anymore–Spotify and Pandora do it for me.

          Is that proof?

  6. Charbarred

    There’s a lot of money in streaming. The problem is that since it’s a newish form of revenue the labels are finding ways to keep this money from the artists and then tell them to blame Spotify.

    • JTVDigital

      This is the only right-minded comment about streaming I’ve been reading for a while.
      You get the point.
      There are insane amounts of money made every day by major record labels in downloads, streams or YouTube ad revenues.
      The problem is not streaming, or Spotify, or iTunes…etc.
      The problem is how the record labels account and split the digital music revenues.

  7. StevenCravis

    I’m an artist, but love using Spotify to listen to other artists, so I’m glad to have my music be listened to by other people who love Spotify. I’m confident streaming revenue will grow.

    • JTVDigital

      Agree Steven.
      As a listener/user, Spotify is very convenient and user-friendly.
      And as you said this is a very good way to browse and discover new stuff.

  8. Veteran Talent Buyer / Promoter

    I’ve been in this business since 1970. I expect to live long enough to see the idea of a “sale” of a recording to disappear. In my experiences, we never bought music anymore than we ever bought water. Water is free – the delivery mechanism is not. The music itself cannot be owned — therefore it cannot be purchased. It is the delivery mechanism we’ve always charged for; the price of admittance. Now, how do we pay for that? What is the consumer willing to pay?

    These are questions I deal with every single day. How much is the consumer WILLING to pay for admittance?

    • FarePlay

      For Immediate Release
      April 25, 2013

      ALEXANDRIA, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), in conjunction with Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) has released 2012 bottled water statistics, compiled by BMC, a research, consulting, and financial services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry ( The new BMC data show that the overall consumption of bottled water increased by 6.2 percent and bottled water sales were up 6.7 percent.

      In 2012, total U.S. bottled water consumption increased to 9.67 billion gallons, up from 9.1 billion gallons in 2011. In fact, 2012’s consumption growth was the strongest it has been in five years. In addition, per-capita consumption is up 5.3 percent in 2012, with every person in America drinking an average of 30.8 gallons of bottled water last year. Bottled water increased in absolute volume more than any other beverage category in the U.S.

      Bottled water sales increased by 6.7 percent in 2012, and now total $11.8 billion.

      Well so much for that analogy. BUT if nothing else it brings up an important point. Bottled water sells because it is promoted as having value and people purchase it.

      They call it product marketing, something sorely missing for the past decade. Oh, and you can get it for free everywhere and not even deal with the stigma of piracy. For this I fault both the traditional music industry and the tech music industry.

  9. Blahblahblah

    I actually like this quote. He’s just saying that he, like a lot of other musician’s and people in general, doesn’t care enough or want to expend the energy to make a stand against something he feels is wrong. I like the honesty. I prefer to other self-obsessed entertainers pretending to care about a cause.

  10. Spoken X Digital Media Group

    It’s a Ku Klux Klan industry and when they run into a black executive that don’t belong to any specified musical plantation family they get foul with the fair payment process. . .The ultimate tone going forward is pure obliteration and unprecedented destruction when you come face to face with the thieving bastards. . . yours truly $0.00 X