Sony/ATV Ex-Chairman Marty Bandier: ‘I’ve Never Gotten a Call from [Spotify CEO] Daniel Ek’

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He never wrote, he never called.

Why didn’t Spotify CEO Daniel Ek reach out to music publishing’s biggest exec — even once?

Earlier this week, Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s former Chairman & CEO, Marty Bandier, revealed the strange fact, part of a broader slam against the streaming giant.  “Some people within Spotify have called me and sort of off-the-record apologized,” Bandier recently told students at his namesake Bandier Program at Syracuse University, referring the Spotify’s controversial challenge of publisher royalty rate increases by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board.

“But I ran the world’s largest music publishing company, and I’ve never gotten a call from [Spotify CEO] Daniel Ek.  He’s the head of the largest subscription service and I’ve never heard from him.”

The kvetch was part of a broader takedown of Spotify, a company increasingly viewed as an enemy of music publishers.

In the discussion (full interview here), Bandier slammed Spotify for challenging the proposed increase, which would bump paltry publisher and songwriter streaming payouts by 44%.

“It was the first time in maybe 10 years that we got an increase of any kind,” Bandier said.  “And lo and behold, on the last day to appeal, Spotify appealed. It’s important to understand that [the CRB ruling] is almost impossible to overturn — you would have to show fraud or that somehow the math was wrong. I think it was the dumbest PR move ever.”

“The entire industry, music publishers and songwriters, have risen together [against it]. All it does is cost the publishers and ultimately the songwriters a huge amount of money for legal fees.”

“If I ran a business and had that type of overhead I would have been fired a long time ago.”

And Bandier was just getting started.

In a serious dig on Spotify’s wild expenditures and monstrous quarterly losses, Bandier offered a blunt opinion.

“I don’t get [the appeal], and I’ve said that to the powers that be at Spotify,” the ex-chairman continued.  “You might expect that from YouTube because they’re kind of a different breed, but Spotify is now a public company. They have to figure out how to make money, but maybe they should start in their own house and figure out how to save money in general overhead instead of the royalties they pay out.

“If I ran a business and had that type of overhead I would have been fired a long time ago. You just can’t do that and expect to be successful.”

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Well I guess he just needs to makes friends with enough Congressmen as the cost of doing business like everyone eh?

  2. Truth

    And no one here will ask the equally-valid inverse of this frighteningly egotistical inquiry:

    “Why didn’t Marty Bandier, music publishing’s biggest exec. EVER reach out to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek — even once?”

    The answer, in all of it’s cigar-chomping, sitting-in-an-elevated-chair-so-you-have-to-look-up-at-me glory, is right below the original, one-sided question:

    “I ran the world’s largest music publishing company, and I’ve never gotten a call from [Spotify CEO] Daniel Ek.”

    Marty Bandier doesn’t call YOU.


    YOU have to call Marty Bandier!!!!

    Even when your still-unprofitable streaming service is literally destroying his business and helping to expose how you rip your artists off, at every turn, Marty Bandier is NOT gonna call you. YOU have to call HIM.

    What a douche….

    • Frivolities

      I will say it is funny that Daniel Ek could say the same thing about Marty Bandier. After all, Ek is the head of the largest streaming service, yet Bandier never called him ONCE.

  3. Remi Swierczek

    Well he is little man with a lot of CHUTZPAH digging a hole under your house!

    Call Sir Lucian Grainge at UMG why he allowed this PUNK to start all inclusive streaming music industry SUICIDE. Apple boys & girls follow D. Ek as S. Jobs rolls over in the grave!

    $300B music business is obvious to BORAT! Talk to him.

  4. frenkybollywood

    Im not a spotify fanboy but what the INDUSTRY is doing to spotify beacuse they have the cards it’s not “fair” either. remember that leaked sony contract? at that point i would have gone rather indie than to sign it in spotifys place. f* it if at least from that money the artists would see something, but noooo that goes only to the label as profit based on its library(which the artists created). so in bandiers place i would shut the f* up and be happy that until now he could exploit the artist, and i honestly hope if not all than most artist go the indie route. there is no logical reason to go with the big 3 with 360 deals and whatnot. there is plenty of digital publishing options with million times better deals they ever could get from those fat cats.

  5. Ed

    Marty doesn’t deserve a call. He’s not on the same level as a company like that. Marty is an industry veteran who got owned by a company that he, Marty, could’ve started himself. Every person already knew that digital files were the future and the music industry let that pass them by. Spotify was invented by someone who was only 28. Marty should be ashamed of that. Bad foresight is why people like Marty eventually become obsolete. He let someone else come out of nowhere and tell him how much money his artists would make in royalties. Stories about Marty should go away.