“Spotify makes artists uncomfortable”

David Byrne says he thinks Spotify is “making artists uncomfortable” around the COVID misinformation scandal shared on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Earlier this year, Rogan and Spotify were heavily criticized for sharing misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine on the exclusive podcast The Joe Rogan Experiencewhich led to artists such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell removing their music from the service.

Byrne, who in 2013 publicly criticized the fact that ‘paltry’ artists are paid in terms of royalties from streaming services like Spotify, and claimed he had removed as much of his catalog as possible from the service, was questioned. on the ongoing scandal in a new interview with the Guardian.

“There’s been all these things on the platforms having… let’s say questionable or controversial content [and] spreading misinformation or outright lies or…not exactly hate speech, but things that make a lot of artists uncomfortable,” he said.

“And it’s pretty hard to do anything to help improve that unless you’re a Drake or Taylor Swift, or those kind of artists. It’s pretty hard for the rest of us to to have influence.

David Byrne performs at David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’ Reopening Party at St. James Theater on October 17, 2021 in New York City. (Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Byrne added: “A handful of mega, mega artists are doing very well, and many more – especially emerging artists – are struggling with it. There was definitely a time when I was like, “Oh, this is going to be tough for a lot of artists,” especially with Spotify’s “freemium” layer.

I watched Taylor Swift go to Apple and say, “You can’t do that; you can’t have a freemium layer that will last forever. And she – I mean, bless her heart – she managed to get them to [change their policy]. Which I think was brave for her and good for a lot of us.

Elsewhere, David Byrne and Mitski released a new collab called “This Is A Life” last week (March 8). The song is featured on the soundtrack of the new film A24, Everything everywhere all at once.

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