While presenting Spotify’s Second quarter 2020 earnings report, Daniel Ek, the company’s CEO, gave advice to all musicians how they can survive the current low the music industry is experiencing.
According to Digital Music News, Ek stated that “a portion of artists privately voice satisfaction with their Spotify royalties.” He also added that musicians “have no incentive” to publicly relay approval of their payouts. “But unequivocally, from the data, there are more and more artists that are able to live off streaming income in itself.”
But then came his punchline – “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 reactions of many artists, that included members of R.E.M., David Crosby, and Joan Osborne among many others, were quick and very negative.
A representative comment of one artist was that “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.”
Another said that “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.”