David Crosby Tees Off On Spotify… And It’s Epic

Rock legend David Crosby had a few things to say about Spotify, and Stereogum was there to report on it. First off, he has had his solo music yanked from Spotify, becoming the latest artist to ditch the company. Here’s the back story:

Of course I had to ask Irving [Azoff]. He holds my publishing. The amazing and really wonderful thing is both [Azoff’s company] Iconic and BMG went along with it. They said, “If that’s what you feel you have to do, we’ll go along with it.” I was stunned. That is not normal corporate behavior. Normally they go for the dollar and the quickest possible answer. They don’t go for that, they don’t do that. They don’t support a moral stand.

With me, you have to understand — I don’t like Spotify. I don’t like any of the streamers, because they don’t pay us properly. Their proportion is wrong. They’re making billions with a b and they’re paying out pennies with a p. That’s not OK. It’s not OK in that it took away half my income, and it’s not OK in that, especially, it makes it impossibly difficult for young people to make it in the business. It doesn’t pay them anything. It’s wrong. I don’t like Spotify on purpose because of that. I don’t like their quality level either. They bum up the signal pretty badly. But they and all the other streaming services are ripping us off. They’re quite happy with it. They have no intention of changing it.

Frankly, streaming is the thing of the future. You’re not going to see any physical objects, in film or music. It’s going to keep going this way. But it isn’t right and I don’t have to shut up and pretend that it’s right because I want their money. I don’t want their money. I want what I had. I’m not willing to lick their boots because I need their pitiful $1.57 they’re paying me. They’re not doing the right thing, and in the long run it will get them. In some kind of karmic thing, it’s going to come around and crush them. I don’t know what it’ll be, but I hope it’s soon. I really don’t like how they’re all sticking together and staying with it.

That’s a pretty blunt assessment of streaming services in general. But he goes further by commenting on Spotify when it comes the quality of it’s broadcasts:

No, I don’t want to be in there. I don’t like ’em and their quality’s lousy and their payscale’s lousy and I don’t want anything to do with them.

On the quality front, pretty much any other streaming service has better quality than Spotify.

And then he comments on Spotify as a company:

I don’t see them growing a conscience. I don’t believe there are good people working there. If they were good people, they wouldn’t work there. They’re not going to suddenly grow some balls and stand against the trend. They’re not going to feel the need to do the right thing. They’re going to keep on collecting money and being shitty to the world. That’s what we have to deal with.

If I were working for Spotify and I read that, I’d be reconsidering my life choices. And if I was Daniel Ek who is the CEO of Spotify….. Well, he likely doesn’t care as he’s in with Joe Rogan to the tune of at least $200 million. So he’s clearly chosen which side of history he’s going to be on.

The whole interview is worth a read. And I suspect that this will be read by people in the corner offices in Spotify. Whether they use this as a catalyst to reconsider how they have handed this situation is an entirely different discussion.

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