ALL THAT REMAINS Frontman Calls SPOTIFY CEO 'A D**k', Says Streaming Giant Doesn't Pay Artists Well
February 5, 2022
ALL THAT REMAINS frontman Phil Labonte is the latest musician to take issue with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek's suggestion that artists need to be more prolific in the streaming age.
For years, Spotify has been criticized for offering paltry payouts to musicians and songwriters, with some claiming that the service gives major-label artists an unfair advantage via playlist placement and other promotional avenues.
In an interview published in July 2020, Ek told Music Ally: "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.
"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," he continued.
"The artists today that are making it realize 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.
"I feel, really, that the ones that aren't doing well in streaming are predominantly people who want to release music the way it used to be released," he added.
A number of notable artists have since fired back at Ek over his suggestion that artists need to churn out more content if they want to the same money they used to, with many in the music community — including TWISTED SISTER singer Dee Snider, former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach, ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and STRYPER's Michael Sweet — saying that's just not how the creative process works.
Labonte offered his take on Ek's comments during a recent appearance on "The Porcupine" podcast. Saying that he is "not a fan of Spotify personally," Phil explained that the streaming giant doesn't pay artists "well" for hosting their music on the platform. "And [Ek] made some snide remark about… He's, like, 'Musicians need to understand, it's not a thing where you put out a record every two years' and blah blah blah," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "It's, like, you can be the person that came up with a creative, destructive force, and that's fine, and that's part of a free market and stuff, but when you're a dick about it, you're still a dick. If you're just, like, 'Well, you guys have gotta adapt to the market,' it's, like, look, there are a lot of artists that are in contracts that can't just put out music every couple of days. Thankfully, I'm almost out of my contract — I've got one more record, and we're recouped — so I'm in a uniquely good position; not 'uniquely,' but an exceedingly rare good position. Most artists aren't. So when he is so dismissive of the effect his creation has on the music industry and then to glibly act as if 0.0007 cents for every spin is fair, I don't think that's… At the very least, it's not someone that I wanna hang out with or someone that I wanna speak positively of. Maybe it's not illegal, maybe it's not immoral, but I'm kind of just, 'Well, you're kind of a pile, and I wouldn't wanna be your friend.'"
Earlier this month, Spotify reported a 24% increase in revenue in the quarter to $2.7 billion as total monthly active users jumped 18% to 406 million. The company reported a net loss of $39 million.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).