In a brand new interview with Metal Express Radio, STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet spoke about the fact that streaming is the primary method of music consumption for many around the world. In particular, a recent study from Deezer found that more than 50 percent of people listen to less albums than they did five or 10 years ago, with listeners having more choices about how to listen to a mix of music by different artists.
"I'm not a fan of [services like] Spotify," Sweet said (see video below). "I don't know anyone at Spotify, anyone on the board. It's not to be disrespectful to them or to say something nasty about their business, but I'm just not a fan. And for many reasons. And I'm not a fan of [individual song] downloads.
"The thing I hate about it is it's disheartening when you go and spend three months of your life working so hard on an album, and you release it, and then it goes up on iTunes and people download three songs," Michael explained. "And you can literally see which songs have been downloaded more and which songs have been downloaded less.
"The album is the artwork and the piece of art — not the songs individually or on their own. So we want people to listen to the whole album. It's like reading a book — you just take two chapters and you leave the other 49. Or watching a movie — you just watch 15 minutes of it, the best scenes, and then you leave the rest. That's what's happened with albums, and it breaks my heart. It's unfortunate. And the same thing happens on Spotify — people will only take particular songs and put those in there on their playlist. And then you add the other side of the coin to that, that the artists, the bands, the people that write the songs and make it happen don't get paid properly from the streaming format."
Earlier this month, Sweet took issue with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek's suggestion that artists need to be more prolific in the streaming age, telling Sonic Perspectives that he couldn't wait "until the day when Spotify is no more." He added: "I'd love to see that day. I'd love to see streaming music be done away with, and for it to get back to some sort of hard copy, whether it's vinyl or CDs again. Because that's the fair way to do things. That's when the artist who is working so hard to create the music is compensated properly."
Last month, Spotify announced its financial results for the second quarter of this year, indicating €1.9 billion ($2.2 billion) in revenues, up 13% year-over-year. Out of the €1.9 billion, €131 million ($154 million) came from advertising while the rest came from subscriptions. Despite increasing revenues, Spotify, however, recorded a sizeable loss of €356 million ($419 million) during the quarter. In the last quarter, Spotify hit a high of 299 million monthly active users, 138 million of whom are paying subscribers via Spotify's premium tier.
STRYPER's new album, "Even The Devil Believes", will be released on September 4 via Frontiers Music Srl.