Testament Frontman — “Spotify is Making Billions Out of Our Music”

Testament frontman Chuck Billy
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Testament frontman Chuck Billy
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Photo Credit: Lilly M / CC by 2.5

Testament frontman Chuck Billy recently shared some depressing thoughts on  Spotify and music streaming in general.

The band joined music streaming platforms despite believing that artist royalty payments are too low. During an interview on Underground Australia, Billy was asked to share his thoughts on the digital age. The answer was mostly a tale of gradually giving in after years of sinking monetization on digital platforms.  

“When Spotify first started hitting the market, a lot of bands didn’t want to work with Spotify. You’d need to have so many streams and downloads to make a penny; you weren’t getting your fair share of what you were supposed to get,” he said.

“Spotify is making billions out of our music; they have a whole company making a lot of money off of artists. I don’t think that’s fair,” Billy finished.

Testament kept their records off of Spotify until last year. Billy says his record company told him they might as well do it. Eventually, the band gave in and made their music available on Spotify.

Unsurprisingly, the band made little from the platform — and holding out on Spotify would effectively make them nonexistent for millions of fans.  But Billy says Spotify has changed how their new fans experience their music. For starters, the album no longer means anything to some fans. He says some of their fans want them to focus on singles and stop making records to have music coming out all throughout the year.

Testament has a new album coming out on April 4th called Titans of Creation. The band has released one single called “Night of the Witch” from the latest album.

Spotify royalties to artists are pitiful unless you can rack up millions of listens. But it’s a shame that some music fans don’t appreciate a well-crafted album anymore, either. Thanks, Spotify.



8 Responses

  1. Antinet

    It’s all about interacting with fans and making them happy. If you release singles throughout the year, you can still create vinyl albums and sell those to the real fans. It’s all a mix. It is true that recording in the current era means you can record much easier, IF you know what you’re doing.

    Once you have real fans and prove to them you’re a real master of music, then you can sell them anything and everything.

    • Anonymous

      Yes you can also make singles but those cost the band as well.

    • Jorge

      The internet came to make justice to the fans and smash the artists,before internet fans Had to buy the whole album only for one hit..example many fans bought Mr Big album for one song” to be with you”and swallowed the whole album.thats not fair..Time changes…

  2. anon

    Testament’s music isn’t making anyone billions.

    How does nobody see this as a supply/demand issue? To me, this whole argument is no different that college football. You’ve got tons of artists/players who are willing to do their thing for pennies. Of course corporate America is going to take advantage of that. I’m not saying it’s right, but the complaining continues and no action is taken because the NCAA, Spotify, and others can always find the next best teenager who is willing accept nothing so they can pursue their passion with the hope of hitting the jackpot someday.

    • Anonymous

      Testemants music alone maybe not but the combination of other bands , yes. Which is what he meant.

  3. BAC

    Testament is averaging around 120,000 to 150,000 streams a day on Spotify over the course of recent months. That will spike up when their new album arrives. Based solely on Spotify streams right now and the mechanical and publishing royalties they throw off, the band should earn a minimum of $250,000 this year just from Spotify.

    Did they sign a bad contract with the Nuclear Blast label or their management? We have no way of knowing unless they show us.

    • Jorge

      $250,000 are peanuts.It break down like that: Mobey for demoes, Label,Producer,Engineers the mixer guy and then the band its equal to –00