Deadmau5 Threatens Spotify Exit Over Daniel Ek Comments: ‘About to Pull My Catalog from These F–king Vultures’

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A VELD performance from Deadmau5, who is threatening to pull his catalog from Spotify over comments made by CEO Daniel Ek. Photo Credit: Visualbass Photography

Remember Daniel Ek’s comments about “the cost of creating content”? Following a tidal wave of related pushback from artists and fans, Deadmau5 is now threatening to pull his catalog over the remarks.

The Ontario-born DJ confirmed as much in an Instagram post, which features a screenshot of an article concerning Ek’s statement. We covered the billionaire’s ill-advised disclosure (that “the cost of creating content” is “close to zero”) and the ensuing fallout closer to June’s beginning.

Whether Deadmau5 missed the initial wave of controversy or intentionally opted against addressing the subject, he only recently let his position be known.

“Incorrect,” 43-year-old Deadmau5 wrote. “The cost of creating content was 25+ years of my life and much of those proceeds going to your company you complete f–king idiot. @spotify”

And when responding to a comment about how much fans “hate Spotify,” the seven-time Grammy nominee made clear that he may opt to remove his body of work from the platform altogether.

“I feel that,” summed up Deadmau5, “I’m about to pull my catalog from these f–king vultures, enoughs enough.”

Notwithstanding the commitment, Deadmau5’s catalog was still live on Spotify, where the producer has nearly five million monthly listeners, at the time of this writing. Worth noting is that 2023’s Kx5, Deadmau5’s first studio album in seven years, is a collaboration with Kaskade.

Furthermore, less than one year has passed since the Pixelynx founder Deadmau5 rather directly thanked Spotify for featuring his work and logo on its “Dance Favorites” playlist; that wasn’t even the first time the electronic veteran had expressed gratitude for a promotional push from the service.

Among other things, the points appear to underscore the considerable marketing potential associated with Spotify. At the top level, the My Spotify creator, which had 615 million monthly active users as of Q1 2024, reportedly guarantees a set number of spots on official playlists to major label acts in the appropriate licensing deals.

More significantly, said marketing potential isn’t limited to streams and listeners. Spotify and AEG are currently collaborating on a pre-sale offer around Sabrina Carpenter’s forthcoming arena tour, for instance.

In the bigger picture, Deadmau5 is hardly alone in holding a far-from-positive opinion of Spotify at present. Due to the unprecedented reclassification of Spotify’s main music packages as bundles in the U.S. – and despite the subsequent rollout of music-only plans – that long list of disgruntled parties now includes the NMPA, the MLC, and several others.

Those reclassifications have brought about a double-digit decline in Spotify’s U.S. mechanical royalty payments and, factoring for modest subscriber growth and price increases, could well cost publishers materially through 2027’s end.