Former Megadeth bassist James LoMenzo is the latest musician to lash out at Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, following the music businessman’s controversial comment that artists need to be more prolific to survive in the streaming era.
In July, Ek took part in an interview with Music Ally. The interview saw the music mogul dispute the “narrative fallacy”, that Spotify doesn’t pay artists and creators enough for streams of their music. Instead, Ek mused that artists need to consider a more consistent commitment to their output than in the past.
“Some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape,” Ek shared, “where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.
“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 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.
“It’s quite interesting that while the overall pie is growing, and more and more people can partake in that pie, we tend to focus on a very limited set of artists.”
During a recent appearance on That Jamieson Show With Don Jamieson, James LoMenzo was asked for his opinion on Ek’s controversial comments. Unsurprisingly, he had a few choice words to share.
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“Fuck him! Right away. God, if he gets into a room with any one of us, man, he’s not gonna be very happy about it. This is gluttonous. He should be in jail with Bernard Madoff. He’s robbing us all blind. And you know what? There was no way out of it.”
He continued: “I know everybody enjoys the convenience of MP3s — I do — but the point is that we used to be able to take months and months, if not a year or two years, and if it took five years, we could sit there and make a piece of art for people that would last forever. You wonder why music is turning so disposable. It’s part of this consciousness of just, you know, music’s just… it’s for the moment.
“You and I grew up in a time where we would have an album and that would be our life for a month,” LoMenzo mused. “And then we’d carry that with us for the rest of our lives. This kind of business model is cheating people out of that experience, and it’s propelling people past the art of it, which is, sadly, where we’re ending up.
“You can only rebel so much — I mean, if popular taste wants that, that’s fine — but exacerbating it through greed, I don’t really think that’s a noble pursuit, unless you’re greedy.”
Q2 of the Spotify quarterly financial results revealed that the streaming service earned a revenue of $1.89 billion, a 13% increase from last year. The platform also gained 138 million subscribers and 299 million monthly active users in that quarter.