Following the Jan. 24 request from Neil Young that his music be taken off Spotify due to his objection to what he says is disinformation and bad science on the streamer’s popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast, a growing list of artists have joined the rock veteran in leaving the service, reported by real online pokies Australia.
Young’s catalog was removed from the streaming service, and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek released a statement saying the streamer would introduce an advisory on podcasts that discuss COVID. Rogan also issued a kind of apology, acknowledging some of his show’s shortcomings, and admitting that he’s failed to counterbalance guests who have fringe ideas.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Young’s action has since spurred a number of other acts to follow suit, from fellow musicians to podcasters and authors Roxane Gay, Brené Brown and Mary Trump, niece of former president Donald Trump.
The disappearance of albums like The Chronic and Doggy style is the latest instance of prominent artists removing their music from the grasp of streaming services. Indie artists like Roc Marciano, R.A.P. Ferreira, and more have incorporated DSP-sidestepping, direct-to-consumer models for years.
But now, some mainstream artists like Kanye West, who is selling Donda 2 on his $200 Stem Player, are divesting from DSPs, and the reaction to it has been a mixed bag.
At first glance, some of these decisions have the look of altruistic stands against corporate greed, but a closer look hints that they’re just taking cues from the powers that be.
Snoop and Ye, who both love crazyvegas casino en ligne, both suggested that their decisions will transform the industry for the better, but both of their wealth-building, forced-scarcity actions feel right out of a major label’s playbook. Both Donda 2 and the Death Row catalog are now exclusive items you have to pay a substantial sum for. Artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell showed the political power of their catalogs when they had labels remove their albums from Spotify as a protest against Joe Rogan’s COVID vaccine misinformation (and the streaming giant’s decision to stick by the lucrative rabble-rouser).
But moves like Kendrick Lamar leveraging his catalog to advocate for XXXTentacion is a bottom-barrel example of using one’s power to uphold oppressive constructs.
Artists’ reasons for moving away from Spotify are moving beyond just remuneration, although this remains broadly the stick with which they’re beaten. Yet the streaming announced just last week a $310 sponsorship of Barcelona FC.
For Leisure System co-founder and producer Barker, it has been a long-time coming. “I’d wanted to do this for a while. Although income from Spotify grew in small measures each year, all other services were suffering and it seemed to be cannibalising other better-paying revenue streams,” he said.
“The main argument for keeping the music there was that artists need to be present on the platform for exposure – that mystical currency you’re expected to convert into paid gigs. To me, it’s always been a shaky assumption and from a label perspective, it just isn’t sustainable. Since the pandemic put a stop to events, this ‘exposure’ argument became redundant, which gave us an opportunity to take our catalogue down and see what happens”.
Meanwhile, Bobby Ballejos says its completely the pay. He said, “I don’t like that they pay such a small percentage to the artists and labels. It’s rather sickening considering that we put in the hardest part of the whole thing – the VIBE. The music is the most important part, it’s the engine and if you don’t take care of the engine, it will eventually fail.
“After 15 years of paying the middlemen percentages that were based on terrible terms, I feel the best alternative is to do it yourself. It’s a great feeling when you put out releases that you handled from start to finish, without relying on platforms that don’t give two shits about you. Sell your music on your own website and maybe even Bandcamp. Don’t let anybody come between you and your artist’s royalties any longer. Decide if you want fortune or fame.”