The Village People Are Pulling Out Of Spotify…

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And the latest to bail on Spotify?  The Village People, whose timeless party classics include “Y.M.C.A.,” “In the Navy,” and “Macho Man”.  “I think the business model for these streaming services is bad for artists but good for the music streaming companies’ bottom line,” group leader Victor Willis told WENN this morning.

“Why should I continue to license Y.M.C.A. to them for the micro-royalties they pay? I’d rather withhold all of my music until they figure out how to make it worth my while.”

Willis indicated that the Village People’s classics may soon surface on TIDAL.

39 Responses

    • Anonymous

      Exactly. Pulling out just leaves more money on the table for everyone else.

  1. Tonefive

    80s mentality after all, dinosaurs trying to put a break on the inevitable.

  2. Anonymous

    blah blah blah, how much did they pay him, up-front, for the exclusive?

    • David

      How much did Spotify pay Led Zeppelin, Metallica, etc, for *their* exclusives, despite claiming that royalties are paid in proportion to plays? – which should rule out any special deals for favored artists.

      • Anonymous

        Spotify has had a lot of investment rounds. They probably used a piece of that to pay for the exclusives. I doubt the per-play rate is different from the norm.

        • Sarah

          That’d be my bet as well. It’s much easier to implement on their system (accounting, etc), and it solves a problem in one step (those artists won’t complain about lower royalties over time if you just give them a boatload in cash now to make up for it). Legally, an upfront payout is an easy add-on to a standard contract.

          • Anonymous

            Universal got equity stake in Spotify, they license their catalog all the time… Since Willis recently reacquired the ownership of the music, as well as having songs and personality rights worth something, he now owns the masters and can possibly leverage them, seeing as Universal would have gotten the money for previously licensing them to Spotify which supposedly never made its way back to artists based on contract terminology and clauses, he likely immediately pulled them out and went where he could tangibly get something for it, therefore he may be able to negotiate a license fee as well as something for the exclusivity and likely toss in the personality rights, but who knows, thats why i asked as that is what matters here…

            Just curious what it is…

  3. Anonymous

    Who? Sorry, if they are not on Spotify I don’t know (or care) who they are.

    • Sarah

      That’s rather closed-minded of you, don’t you think? Good thing it’s a rare position – otherwise no one would know about The Beatles, and that’d be a shame.

      Also, you’re totally missing out – YMCA is just a super fun song. 😉

      • FarePlay

        Yes, for a very small percentage of folks really interested in music interactive music streaming means discovery. For the other 90% it is a repetitive sink hole of endlessly shuffled play lists. If you’re a fan of the Village People, you just may have to go out and purchase their greatest hits.

        The money is there. We just forgot how to market music and let the free guys own the playground.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      You’ve never heard of The Village People? “YMCA,” “In the Navy”… none of that rings a bell? You’re missing out, go educated yourself! Run to Spotify and listen while you still can!

  4. Chris H

    Why bag on these guys for their business decision.

    More micro-pennies for you winners. If he wants to hold out and wait for something better, which a LOT of people do (who aren’t dinosaurs).

  5. Name2

    TIDAL: Bringing back the classic music business model of funneling all available money to the top dogs.

    • Anonymous

      Name2: Complaining about anything that takes money away from Google.

      • Name2

        “Argument by Google”:

        A new rhetorical device first discovered in the comments section of DMN. 1. Source of all evil. 2. Employer of paid shills. Usage: almost non-existent in real world.

  6. Wooly

    Shouldn’t this story be on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and the NY Times?

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Does it really matter anymore? We don’t need them to validate or verify this story anymore. They aren’t the arbiters, decision-makers, or information brokers they once were.

      • Name2

        No, they are not what they once were.

        But that doesn’t make DMN any more than what it is.

        There are some web entities which can storm the gates of real journalism. DMN ain’t one.

  7. GGG

    They’d actually be a very good study to see the effects of older hits and sales vs streams. Let’s be real here, nobody gives two shits about the Village People with the exception of a few songs. So catalogue plays are basically moot. BUT those hits are, I’m sure, still very in demand for people putting together party mixes, kitschy stuff, etc. And since it’s only a few singles a large percentage might very well just figure to buy them.

    At the same time, there are probably way more people that’d love to stream YMCA but have 0 intention of ever buying it. But are there enough of those that they’d make the same or more money from streams than sales? I doubt it. So it’s probably a good idea, though it’d be very interesting to revisit the effect in a few months. Which I doubt will happen, but maybe you, Paul, can follow up?

    • FarePlay

      Wrong, wrong, wrong. Why do I have to keep playing the generational card with you? Don’t you get it? People who listened to and liked the Village People bought music. Some of them migrated over to your belief system, but many didn’t.

      Now you’ll come back and say I’m out of touch with the current music business. And honestly, you are more in touch with how your generation relates to music, as I am to mine.

      There was a study that showed last year was the first year that new releases sold less than legacy releases.

      • Sarah

        That’s very interesting, actually. Do you have a link to the study by any chance?

      • GGG

        Umm…what? You clearly stopped reading after sentence two. If anything, even though i didn’t really have a definitive opinion, my conclusion was that they probably ARE better off staying off Spotify.

        Go back, reread, and try again.

      • jw

        Dude, anyone who wanted to own the Village People’s music already does. lol.

        Otherwise folks might be downloading the singles for wedding parties. I’m sure Victor Willis would love for folks to pay $1.39 for that single play, rather than just pulling up a playlist. People are used to throwing money into the wind when it comes to weddings, anyhow.

        This is not a standard case.

        The legacy point is interesting, though… half the rap stations in Atlanta are playing ’90s rap now, & there’s classic country stations, too. I imagine folks who weren’t paying attention in the ’90s are going to iTunes to download these singles, if they’re not just pulling them up on Spotify.

        Most of the best new music just doesn’t get out there.

        • FarePlay

          “Most of the best new music just doesn’t get out there.”

          Why do you think that is?

          • GGG

            Because there’s so much of it (and music in general since people still listen to old stuff, obviously). Very few people have the time/financial means/desire to listen to even a tiny fraction of what’s released. On top of that, there are very few outlets that reach enormous numbers of people. Tastes are fragmented, but unlike even 15 years ago, you can now find exactly what you’re looking for if you look. Hell, even top 40 pop is on it’s way to becoming a niche genre, as labels and radio will become more and more reactionary to what’s popular online.

            And I think I said this to you once before, but I think that’s also a reason we don’t seem to have the classic albums anymore. It’s not that we don’t, there’s just too much people want to hear so they don’t give albums the dedication you would when there were far less releases. And even with albums you buy on iTunes, there’s still so much else to hear all over the internet. I mean, I highly doubt even you give very many new releases the attention you gave records when you were growing up. I certainly don’t. There’s no way there isn’t some indie album out there you would connect to and fall in love with just like, or close to it, the way you connected to Springsteen or something. But how do you find it? You can get pointed in the right direction with a simple google search but you might miss it anyway. And I’m sure there are new releases you DO love and you rave about it to people and they have their own endless queue of what they want to listen to and just never get around to it.

            If I think back to my favorite albums of the last 5 years by new artists, I think half of them I found because of enough positive reviews, but the other half was just basically by accident.

          • FarePlay

            G3. Good points. Nothing is simple or easy. Yes, this open source gave everyone a chance to be streamed. Many thought this would be great, but it has caused at least as many problems as opportunities it created. I’m not sure I’ve always felt this, but taste-makers, once you find one that you trust, can make a huge difference.

            The problem is the sheer volume of music. I go to a movie, I check out Rotten Tomatoes. Terrestrial Radio really got destroyed by the 1996 Telecommunications Act and once again with the internet there’s just so much out there.

            “I highly doubt even you give very many new releases the attention you gave records when you were growing up.” So true. I worked in an incredible record store for a couple of years. Small store with complete catalogues of every genre. Knowledgeable people who knew all kinds of music. Everyday was a learning experience. And then I stayed in the business for another 10 years, so I was plugged in.

            That’s one reason why I miss record stores. Like the Allman Bros Song, ‘No One To Run With……….”

  8. FarePlay

    I did send you a response with a link. that will take longer……..

    for a faster response search: new releases of music no longer outselling older music

  9. Edward Jennings

    Its fun to live at the T I D A L. Buh-Bye Spotify. Hello Village People to better royalties.

  10. makemoneymoney

    I’m not going to switch services and abandon my playlists for a couple of songs that I might want to have in a party mix a few times a year. I would however consider (buying) the tracks off (iTunes) and importing them into my playlists via the Spotify app though.

    • FarePlay

      Your comment about losing your playlist is an interesting one.