Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SXSW: The Black Keys not thrilled by Spotify

Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, speaking to an US radio station, doesn't seem to have gotten over the whole Napster deal yet.

Asked about Sean Parker's suggestion that Spotify would outstrip iTunes in a couple of years, Carney spluttered:

"He's an asshole. That guy has $2 billion that he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that's the bottom line. You can't really trust anybody like that."
It might be fair to point out that, towards the end, Napster was putting an awful lot of effort in trying to figure out how to actually pay royalties to bands but the record labels couldn't decide if they wanted to take over the business or close it down. And Spotify has found an elegant way of persuading people to pay for music, without which still more files might be sucked, unpaid, off the web. But, hey, why take a balanced view when there's a boogeyman?
"The idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I'm totally not against it. It's just we won't put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense."
In other words: we're not prepared to take a minor risk in order to help ensure it's a success; let other people stick their necks out. We'll just turn up when the cash is there.
"Trust me, Dan and I like to make money. If it was fair to the artist we would be involved in it. I honestly don't want to see Sean Parker succeed in anything. I imagine if Spotify becomes something that people are willing to pay for, then I'm sure iTunes will just create their own service, and they're actually fair to artists."
Ah, yes. The famously "fair to artists" iTunes. It's just that Apple pass the screwing-the-artist work onto the labels.

The labels. They've been creaming cash off artists for decades. But why rock the boat with them, eh, Patrick?