Dani Filth Calls Spotify “The Biggest Criminals in the World”
There certainly seems to be no love lost for Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth when it comes to the popular online music streaming service Spotify. In a recent interview with Sakis Fragos of Rock Hard Greece (transcribed by Blabbermouth), the vocalist called out the service and its practice of paying artists next to nothing for each stream.
“It’s been deteriorating ever since… I think 2006 was the year that everything swapped from being comfortable for musicians — well, not necessarily comfortable; it was never comfortable. But [it went to] just being a lot harder with the onset of the digital age, the onset of music streaming platforms that don’t pay anybody. Like Spotify are the biggest criminals in the world. I think we had 25, 26 million plays last year, and I think personally I got about 20 pounds, which is less than an hourly work rate.
“For example, the other day my girlfriend… She’s got an ill cat; her cat’s very sick and needed a life-or-death operation. She’s a well-known tattooist, and she posted a thing online about… a GoFundMe for her cat, and she was gonna do a raffle and people could win a tattoo, et cetera, et cetera. The point of it is a lot of people were, like, ‘Why the fuck should we pay for your cat? You’re going out with a multimillionaire?’ And she was, like, ‘Excuse me, I don’t think you understand how the music industry works nowadays. One, he’s not a multimillionaire at all. Two, I’m my own person, and this has nothing to do with him.’”
For those that don’t know, artists get an insanely low rate each time you listen to one of their songs. In most cases, an artist can expect to receive anywhere from $0.003 to $0.005 per stream. Therefore, you would need 100,000 streams just to make $500 on the estimated high end.
Filth said that without the general public knowing that fact, they’ll continue consuming music through Spotify and thinking musicians are making as much as they used to during the pre-internet era.
“I think people just have this amazing ability to [believe] that when you have stuff out there, like physical product, that you’re earning a fortune from it. They don’t realize you have so many people taking pieces of the pie — record company, management, accountants, blah blah blah blah; it doesn’t matter. If you’re not getting any money in the first place, there’s not much money to share around. And nowadays, the reason why people put out limited-edition vinyls and stuff, it’s for collectors — they’re the only people that buy it; other people just stream it for nothing. That’s why you’re finding a lot of bands, since the pandemic, are not touring. Petrol’s gone up. Tour bus hire’s gone up. The cost of living’s gone up. Yeah, it’s very hard for bands at the moment. But it doesn’t help when people just have this in-built idea that it’s not a privilege to get music, that music is something that should be given away free. I mean, I don’t walk into someone’s shop and just pick up — I don’t know — a pack of bananas and say, ‘Well, these grow on trees. They should be free. I’m walking out with these.’ I’d be arrested for shoplifting. But it’s fine for people to download… Even before albums are out, you find fans, like, ‘Oh, I’ve got a link to it,’ and they put it up and then instantly any sales you’re gonna get from people buying it for a surprise are out the window because they’ve already heard it and then they just move on to the next thing.
“Yeah, the music industry is on its knees at the moment. I still enjoy making music — don’t get me wrong; I love it — but, yeah, the musician nowadays is finding a million things against them. It’s a hard time.”
While it’s certainly hard for everyone at the moment, we’ve been covering the financial problems that bands have had to deal with recently and it’s not been great. Bands have had to cancel entire tours because of monetary problems. Here’s hoping shit starts to level out soon, because if not, things are going to be tough moving forward.