Music lovers everywhere are calling for a boycott of Spotify after CEO Daniel Ek revealed a €100 million investment in a mil-tech company.
Digital Music News reported the investment in Helsing after Ek announced it on November 9. Ek is also joining Helsing’s board after the investment. Helsing says its AI tech will be used for “defense and national security” to provide “information advantage for democratic governments and “keep liberal democracies from harm.”
Many Spotify users are angry and jumping ship to competitors for their music streaming. The hashtag #BoycottSpotify is trending on Twitter, where several artists have promoted the cancellation of their accounts.
“#BoycottSpotify now! Cancel your subscription today. Artists and music lovers must not support the military AI industry. Register your anger at the Spotify involvement in sponsorship of Arms Corporations. This is so vile. Music is NOT war. Just wrong on every level,” tweets Darren Sangita, a music producer.
“AI means using computers to process information a hundred times faster, so they accurately deliver a higher kill ratio,” Sangita told Resident Advisor. “Music is being used as a weapon. I can’t sign up to that, so I’ve already unsubscribed and now plan to take all my music down from Spotify. We believe in music as a powerful tool for peace; otherwise, it’s a complete contradiction of our music philosophy.”
Some alternative services artists and musicians are recommending include Tidal and Deezer. The response to Daniel Ek’s announcement hasn’t been too positive – with calls to boycott Spotify starting quickly.
A quick glance at the Twitter comments beneath the initial announcement show most people are displeased with the investment. Despite the heavy criticism from musicians, artists, and even regular Spotify users – Daniel Ek hasn’t responded to the calls to boycott Spotify.
Helsing was founded in 2021 and calls itself a “new type of security and artificial intelligence company” that aims to turn “unstructured sensor date into information advantage for democratic governments.”
NaturalMotion Founder Torsten Reil co-founded the company and currently serves as CEO. Former German Federal Ministry of Defense Special Commissioner Gundbert Scherf has signed on as President and COO.