Music Ally engaged in a lengthy interview with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, speaking on the company’s financial growth as well as addressing criticism directed toward Spotify for poor treatment of artists on their platform.
Following the release of streaming giant Spotify’s latest financial statistics on July 29th; Spotify CEO Daniel Ek engaged in an in depth interview and dialogue with Music Ally, regarding the company’s financial growth during COVID-19, as well as sharing his perspective on the criticism and backlash that the company has and continues to face.
Spotify seems to constantly find themselves in hot water often – with many calling out the service for extremely poor streaming royalties. Especially in the midst of a pandemic in which many have lost their livelihoods due to the lack of live music, Spotify have continued making decisions in order to increase their profit while musicians on their platform are barely receiving even close to liveable royalties, especially those who are independent or lesser known artists.
While, sadly, it’s not surprising to see a company like Spotify consistently exploit those who are the backbone of their service for their own benefit and increased profit – while consumers are required to be directed toward their service, due to behaviour that can easily be seen as monopolizing a specific business sector: Ek has remained quiet on these issues – finally addressing them with Music Ally.
Ek shared with interviewer Stuart Dredge:
It’s quite interesting that while the overall pie is growing, and more and more people can partake in that pie, we tend to focus on a very limited set of artists…
Even today on our marketplace, there’s literally millions and millions of artists. What tends to be reported are the people that are unhappy, but we very rarely see anyone who’s talking about…
In the entire existence [of Spotify] I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single artist saying ‘I’m happy with all the money I’m getting from streaming…
Stating that publicly. In private they have done that many times, but in public they have no incentive to do it. But unequivocally, from the data, there are more and more artists that are able to live off streaming income in itself.
While we are well aware that the vast majority of artists are unable to make even a fraction of sustainable income from streaming services alone, unless they are already exceptionally wealthy and famous musicians (as Ek moves forward referencing superstar Taylor Swift and her new album ‘folklore’ as an example of an artist earning high income from streaming alone) Ek instead shifts responsibility from the platform itself onto the musicians, explaining:
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.
The artists today that are making it realise that it’s about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans.