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Christian Eede
3 June 2024, 14:34

Spotify CEO claims “the cost of creating content” is “close to zero”

Musicians and music fans have hit back at Daniel Ek's comments, pointing out the many challenges associated with forging a career as an artist

Spotify CEO claims "the cost of creating content" is “close to zero”

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has riled some musicians and music fans around the globe after comments he shared online in which he said "the cost of creating content" in the present day is "close to zero".

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, the company head implied that it was now easier than ever to make and release music and other content due to advances in modern technology.

His post read: "Today, with the cost of creating content being close to zero, people can share an incredible amount of content. This has sparked my curiosity about the concept of long shelf life versus short shelf life.

"While much of what we see and hear quickly becomes obsolete, there are timeless ideas or even pieces of music that can remain relevant for decades or even centuries. For example, we're witnessing a resurgence of Stoicism, with many of Marcus Aurelius' insights still resonating thousands of years later."

Responses to the post have come from both artists and music fans, with many of them pointing out the various challenges that now come with trying to forge a career as a musician, particularly with income from sales of music dropping as streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have become the dominant way for people to access artist catalogues.

Responding rather bluntly, Primal Scream live bassist Simone Marie Butler quoted Ek's post, adding: "Fuck off you out of touch billionaire."

Other criticisms of Ek's comments focused on his description of music as "content", adding that musicians' work was increasingly devalued in the present day, and that the drive for people to create more and more in order to make money and maintain a career could lead to a decline in quality of releases.

In April, Spotify officially demonetised all tracks with under 1,000 plays on the platform.

United Musicians and Allied Workers recently spearheaded the Make Streaming Pay initiative, demanding fairer revenue split for artists using platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. The campaign is behind a new Living Wage For Musicians Bill, which was introduced to US congress in March and aims to "ensure that artists and musicians can build sustainable careers in the digital age". You can find out more about this here