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Gareth Emery Pens Editorial Criticizing Spotify

Gareth Emery is on a mission to disrupt how streaming services compensate artists. He announced the launch of a blockchain-based streaming service called Choon in December. That service, along with its own NOTES tokens, shows great promise. But, Spotify and other streaming services remain dominant forces, and Emery is not pleased.


Emery wrote an extensive editorial for Digital Music News, reacting to Spotify executive Troy Carter‘s comments during an investor presentation following the service’s IPO announcement. Carter claimed that “most of the artists’ reservations [about Spotify] have been addressed.” However, Emery disagrees. Emery revealed that he likely makes less than 1 percent of his earnings comes from Spotify payouts, and sometimes he receives those payouts more than a year later.

Emery said that “the whole system is cloaked in secrecy, nobody knows how much they’re going to get paid or when” and that he “couldn’t rely on Spotify for an income,” wondering how smaller artists are able to support themselves. Emergy argued that the music industry never adapted with the growth of the Internet, and that “while the way fans consumed music has changed, artists’ compensation is stuck in the dark ages.”

Emery also echoed sentiments that touring and playing shows give him the most financial support. Emery also acknowledged the wealth of money in the industry, citing Spotify’s recent revenue numbers and concluding that “the real people benefiting are the shareholders, and these shareholders include all the major record labels.” Emery concluded by writing off the industry as an “elaborate smoke & mirrors system” and that “we need to smash the old system, disrupt the hell out of it, and build a new music industry from the ground up: and that is exactly what we’re doing to do.”

Emery, your editorial doesn’t fall on deaf ears. We support you every step of the way.

Cover photo credit: Rukes


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