DISTURBED singer David Draiman says that streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music “saved” the music industry.
Draiman shared his opinion after a video compilation surfaced of podcaster Joe Rogan repeatedly using the “n-word” on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Just a couple of weeks earlier, Neil Young and other musicians pulled their music from the platform over their belief that Rogan and his guests spread COVID-19 misinformation. Meanwhile, some musicians have taken the opportunity to open up larger conversations about Spotify‘s payout structures, artist rights, and the streaming economy at large.
Draiman wrote on Twitter: “All those attacking @Spotify, young and old, would do well to remember a couple little things called MUSIC PIRACY, and BITTORRENT SITES.
“Before streaming took hold, both artists and the very music industry itself was on the verge of collapse. Why? Because the heads of the major labels at the time refused to see the future when a young Sean Fanning and Sean Parker, the guys behind a little startup called @napster, approached them with a new way to reach their consumers at unprecedented levels, and they shot them down.
“So instead, Fanning and Parker let Napster do it’s thing for free. Piracy and BitTorrent sites soon followed along with the new perception that ‘music should be free’. Artists suffered, record labels suffered and the industry itself nearly collapsed. It took STREAMING to bring it back to life. Streaming made the labels profitable again, made catalog artists regain a royalty stream, and made Piracy obsolete. Streaming made legacy artists catalogs, like @Neilyoung and others tremendously valuable. It created the current environment where people stream their music, and where musicians had the opportunity to sell their catalogs, which had regained their value, like Neil did.
“Could or should @Spotify have a better streaming royalty rate?” he continued. “I believe so… …but it doesn’t take away the FACT that without streaming, there would no longer BE A MUSIC INDUSTRY, and these artists who are complaining after they already sold their catalogs for gargantuan sums of money, would be liquidating their assets… …and many would be struggling to survive.
“Artists you want to blame someone? Blame the heads of the labels in the days prior to Napster who refused to adopt new technology in favor of an antiquated retail system that had a higher profit margin. Blame your lawyers and your management for not negotiating a better royalty percentage in your respective record deals, and blame YOURSELVES for not paying attention to it.
“The majority of the legacy artists out there have newfound riches from streaming… …and music fans have easier and higher quality access to the widest range of music in existence,” Draiman added.
“In summary, stop bitching, educate yourselves and read your damn contracts.
“Streaming saved music. Wether you want to accept it or not…its the TRUTH.”