Spotify CEO Tells Musicians to Release More Music If They Want to Survive — Musicians Offer Some Advice Back

Top Executives Earn Millions, While Spotify Bleeds Money

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

A number of musicians are slamming Spotify CEO Daniel Ek over controversial comments he made during a recent interview.

The 37-year-old Spotify co-founder delivered the contentious remarks following the release of his platform’s Q2 2020 earnings report, as part of a discussion that covered several topics. Prior to offering the quote that prompted many members of the music community to levy firmly worded (and often expletive-laden) retorts, Ek expressed the opinion that a portion of artists privately voice satisfaction with their Spotify royalties.

However, the Stockholm native also stated that musicians “have no incentive” to publicly relay approval of their payouts. “But unequivocally, from the data,” Ek proceeded, “there are more and more artists that are able to live off streaming income in itself.”

Ek then explored the idea that some artists’ work ethic and release schedules – not Spotify’s much-debated per-stream royalty rate – are to blame for their lackluster streaming income.

“There is a narrative fallacy here, combined with the fact that, obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough,” Ek said.

On social media, the response was swift and sharply critical.

Artists were quick to critique the controversial assertion.  And at the time of this writing, their passionate condemnation was showing few signs of wavering. “Been thinking a lot about Daniel Ek’s comments recently. It’s not unusual for people to be unable to understand what it takes to create art. However, it is unusual for them to be in complete control of what should be your primary revenue stream as an artist,” tweeted one individual.

“This is NOT why we create. This is NOT how it works.  Daniel Ek, saying this just confirms how ignorant you are to artists and the actual creative process. I know you had little regard for musicians but this really is pretty shocking, even by streaming service standards,” slammed another user.

“In the middle of the seemingly endless and expensive and expertise-requiring tasks that are involved in putting out a record, and so in the perfect frame of mind to honestly say: go fuck yourself, Daniel Ek,” critiqued a third disgruntled artist.

Even harsher criticism came from musicians that “used to do well in the past,” starting with Dee Snider.

David Crosby was more curt with his criticism, as was Joan Osbourne.

It bears mentioning that while the overwhelming majority of responses to Ek’s words appear negative, a select few people have agreed with his assessment.

Ek, for his part, has yet to formally address the widespread disapproval.

SPOT shares closed the day at $250.02 apiece on Wall Street – their lowest price since June.

7 Responses

  1. Avatar
    You Almost Extinct

    Spot A Lie CEO

    Is STEALING BILLIONS

    Stuffing It In Black Boxes

    That Are Now Going To Be Opened

    And He Needs More Independents

    To Upload Music Faster

    So They Can Steal EVEN MORE

    YOU USELESS FUCK

    BURN IN HELL

  2. Avatar
    Kim Wanner

    I have played, performed and recorded music since I was 14, I’m now 62 and I am not rich or famous, but I definitely respect the art and the intense amount of work and money it takes to create beautiful, quality music. Real music is art, it touches the soul. But in this world full of such high expectations, immediate gratification and and little respect for the art, or the artist, people like EK further diminish that respect and add to the kaos and discontent….. Stealing your way through life on the backs of other hard working people makes you an Oxygen thief! EK, you are part of the problem, not the solution!

  3. Avatar
    Tee

    Fame without creative resources is like trying to make ice without water. Streamers make billions off of artist’s music. Period. Fact: most fans use streamers because it’s convenient and gives them unlimited access. It’s really not Spotify’s problem i.e. not entirely. It’s the avarice of fans wanting access to everything for basically nothing. I don’t want fans who are not conscious of their actions in this. If you really want to support an artist you like, buy the artist’s album or some of the singles you like–at least once–before you start streaming because
    indie artists, for example, are not going to get enough streams to get those decent checks that only well known, mainstream artists get.

  4. Avatar
    Blobbo

    Why the hell the music lawyers allow THIS PIECE OF SHIT to run the entire music business I do NOT understand.

    SPOTIFY NEEDS TO BE BOYCOTTED BY EVERY MUSICIAN ON EARTH, and that includes major label lawyers. Why are the famous musicians staying on Spotify? They have NO F*CKING MORALS BEING THERE, FEEDING THE MAW OF THIS KRAKEN BITCH WHO NEEDS TO BE HEADED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN.

  5. Avatar
    ben

    I this business like a farm

    – Artists are the cows
    – Ek is the farmer milking the cows
    – Ek doesn’t feed his cows well…Cows are feeding this motherfucker actually

    If the cows stop giving milk, Ek’s businnes will go down
    bottom line : stop fueling his bussinness, quit his farm
    show this egg face that YOU run his business YOU can blow it up

    That’s it..

  6. Avatar
    Mad Musician

    I have been fighting to have my music I released through a distro who inturn put my music on Spotify removed for almost a year and a half. I requested the distro to remove my music from Spotify. They still have not removed my music. In these cases they want to keep your music in THEIR library an steal your mechanicals. Outside of the royalties from the recording aspect, They keep your mechanical royalties. I suspect They keep it for themselves or split it with the distros. This is part of the reason why most of these distros charge a little of nothing to the unknowing artist. Stream houses like Spotify is suppose to send a “Letter of Intent” to the artist but they don’t. This is why Spotify is eager to get your music so they can offer their monthly subscribers unlimited free access to your music for the famous “$20 a month.” I plan to sue Spotify.