David Byrne thinks Spotify is making artists 'uncomfortable'
David Byrne thinks Spotify is making artists “uncomfortable .”
The 69-year-old singer – who removed most of his back catalogue from the streaming giant back in 2013 – claimed that the platform publishing “questionable or controversial content” and “misinformation” has left stars feeling “uncomfortable” but noted that only names as big as Taylor Swift or Drake are powerful enough to take action.
He said: “There’s been all these things about platforms having … let’s say questionable or controversial content [and] putting out misinformation or outright lies or … not exactly hate speech, but things that are making a lot of artists uncomfortable. And it’s pretty tough to do anything to help ameliorate that unless you’re a Drake or Taylor Swift, or those kinds of artists. It’s pretty hard for the rest of us to have influence.”
The former Talking Heads star then mentioned the time’ Love Story’ hitmaker Taylor, 32, withheld her album from Apple Music over their decision to not pay artists for the three month and convinced the streaming platform to reverse their policy but noted that only a “handful” of stars are “doing really well” out of putting the music on Spotify, which is thought to pay artists an average of $0.004 per stream.
He told The Guardian newspaper: “A handful of mega, mega artists are doing really well, and many of the others – especially emerging artists – are having a tough time with it. There was definitely a period where I thought, “Oh, this is going to be tough for a lot of artists”, especially with Spotify’s “freemium” layer.
I watched as Taylor Swift went to Apple and said, “You can’t do this; you can’t have a freemium layer that will last forever.” And she – I mean, bless her heart – she managed to get them to [change their policy]. Which I think was brave for her and good for a lot of the rest of us.”