Wait. Did he just say that out loud?

Abandoned car in the desert.

The Con: Daniel Ek, Spotify CEO

You can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough… Even today on our marketplace, there’s literally millions and millions of artists. What tends to be reported are the people that are unhappy, but we vary rarely see anyone who’s saying, ‘I’m happy with all the money I’m getting from streaming.’

Recent comments by Mr. Ek after announcing Spotify’s (the Swedish music-streaming service) annual earnings

The Pro: Nick Rennis, The Business

While not entirely qualified to answer as I don’t consider myself an artist, nor do I make any kind of money off of my creative projects, I think you can tell that artists are struggling to make things work right now. Just like the ‘rest of us,’ crucial income streams for artists are gone — stores and venues are closed, etc. Some large companies are extending olive branches, like Bandcamp waiving their fee once a month, but even these opportunities have diminishing returns. Artists are forced to scrape the bottom of the creative barrel once a month to try and come up with something new to lead people to their page. Is anyone coming up with anything remotely cool right now? Probably not! 

Nick Rennis (owner, along with Evie Opp, of The Business, a small, music retail and distribution business in Anacortes, WA) responding after a request from The Palace for comment about Mr. Ek’s blaming musicians for being lazy by not making more music
Nick Rennis and Evie Opp at The Business record shop.
Nick Rennis & Evie Opp, owners of The Business record shop in Anacortes, WA (photo by Nick Rennis, used by permission)

We’re all zapped and what energy we do have is going to focus on marginalized voices in our communities who are being trampled on in very obvious ways in our present moment. So when certain CEOs say that artists aren’t working hard enough, and that they need more ‘content’ to feed on, we should be especially critical of the ways in which we consume and enrich our enemies. We must support each other and cut out the bullshit. We can survive only by doing this. Fuck streaming. Fuck cops. Peace.

Nick Rennis

photo credits
(where not otherwise credited)

“Dead car” / photograph by ingehogenbijl on Shutterstock
“Trailer” (footer) / photograph by Kaytoo on Shutterstock, design done by GP using Canva