The Spotify Shakedown: “That’s a Real Nice Album You Got There I’d Hate For It To Be Torrented”

We’ve been hinting at this for a while.  That essentially the streaming services implicitly  use the threat of piracy to negotiate lower rates with artists.    We suspect that is why a service like Spotify that claims to be “Pro-Artist”  refuses to speak out against Ad Supported Piracy despite our previous request for them to do so and despite the fact the “legal” services and pirate sites compete for exactly the same ad revenue.

We no longer have to hint at this.  It appears Spotify has crossed the rubicon.  In this corporate “study” they explicitly link non-availability on Spotify to increased piracy.  In other words:

“Thats a real nice album you got there. I’d hate to see it torrented”

To me this reads like a admission that the threat of piracy is fundamental to their business model.

(Ed note: Is this legal? A question for National Association of Attorneys General?)

But I could be wrong.  Spotify could easily clear this up. We ask once again for Artist-in-Residence at Spotify D.A Wallach to take action against Ad Supported Piracy.  Will Spotify join us in the fight against Ad Supported Piracy?

When will the streaming and webcasting  services understand that their low payments (to songwriters especially) make them qualitatively no different than a pirate site.  In fact I’d rather have an honest conversation with a pirate party advocate than to listen to lies from some Silicon Valley billionaire.

“Oh please! Tell me again how your 5th amendment violating, government mandated and  artists subsidized streaming service is gonna be good for me  ‘when it scales?‘”

About Dr. David C Lowery

Platinum selling singer songwriter for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven; platinum selling producer; founder of pitch-a-tent records; founder Sound of Music Studios; platinum selling music publisher; angel investor; digital skeptic; college lecturer and founder of the University of Georgia Terry College Artists' Rights Symposium.

3 thoughts on “The Spotify Shakedown: “That’s a Real Nice Album You Got There I’d Hate For It To Be Torrented”

  1. This is The Big Lie that Spotify trades on: That they are providing a workable alternative to piracy to consumers and artists. That for artists, something, anything, however paltry, is better than nothing.

    When Spotify’s CEO becomes one of the ten richest men in the music biz, and the artists who produce the content that drive customers to his site get paid negligible amounts, well you might not be able to call it “piracy”, but you can certainly call it “exploitation”. The difference between Daniel Ek and Kim Dotcom is next to none in my book; they both built businesses off the backs of artists while viewing them as serfs.

    When it comes right down to it, given the choice between having my music pirated and the fans getting it for free, or the fans paying for it on Spotify, thinking they are being “legal” and supporting the artists, but only making Daniel Ek a rich man while I am paid next to nothing for it, I’d probably choose the piracy.

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