In an interview with Music Ally, Ek said the following:
Even today on our marketplace, there's literally millions and millions of artists. What tends to be reported are the people that are unhappy, but we very rarely see anyone who's talking about… In the entire existence [of Spotify] I don't think I've ever seen a single artist saying, "I'm happy with all the money I'm getting from streaming." In private they have done that many times, but in public they have no incentive to do it. But unequivocally, from the data, there are more and more artists that are able to live off streaming income in itself.
Not stopping there, he went on to add:
There is a narrative fallacy here, combined with the fact that, obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can't record music once every three to four years and think that's going to be enough. The artists today that are making it realize that it's about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans.... I feel, really, that the ones that aren't doing well in streaming are predominantly people who want to release music the way it used to be released.
As you might expect, Ek's statements have rankled musicians around the globe. Read their comments below.
You are an obnoxious greedy little shit Daniel Ek https://t.co/8tZx55LeDe— David Crosby (@thedavidcrosby) July 31, 2020
as if anyone is going to remember who this fucking grifter canteloupe is in 3 to 4 years https://t.co/HU2mrraG1S— Fucked Up (@FUCKEDUP) July 31, 2020
like imagine if car companies were upset they weren't making enough money selling cars because somehow they were being devalued before they got to consumer. and the the President of Cars was just like "make WAY MORE CARS" to every single car company on earth at the same time https://t.co/HU2mrraG1S— Fucked Up (@FUCKEDUP) July 31, 2020
Yup u heard him folks, just cut up that super chill garage band loop, and release it every month as a single and you'll be able to pay rent in the dilapidated shack you share with 6 other fools trying to do the same thing https://t.co/s15BjO9C42— guv (@youngguv) July 31, 2020
perfect! we'll stick with 5! https://t.co/PwjXLNxlM6— PROPAGANDHI (@propagandhi) July 31, 2020
I just really can't take advice from someone in a whack ass shirt like that https://t.co/4ghP3iHNY6— TWIABP&IANLATD (@twiabp) July 31, 2020
This man has never created anything as lasting or as beautiful as the worst song by your least favorite band https://t.co/jlWC7yXhiq— 𝖈𝖑𝖎𝖕𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖌. (@clppng) July 31, 2020
yeah, because YOUR company only pays $0.00331 per stream and then that gets split between the artist(s), management, business manager, lawyer and label https://t.co/hDxuqXoJUW— chet porter (@chetporter) July 31, 2020
you can tell how much i love music by the guitar on my shirt https://t.co/rRIZAGCZgY— Peter Berkman (@peterberkman) July 31, 2020
lol i'm fucked https://t.co/34AD98BFGH— Aidan Knight (@aidanknight) July 31, 2020
Another suggestion might be to look deeply into the darkest corners of existence, accept the inevitability of death as a lifelong companion, and pull notes like tendons from the corpse of false hopes until universe resounds with uncontrived joy. https://t.co/D6P3SMQ7ye— Charles Spearin (@SpearinCharles) July 31, 2020
The mask is off: if there was ever a question about whether they care about quantity or quality, it's over, and anyone who's defended this guy and Spo business practices to me (many of you) should feel very silly right about now. Like you should probably shut the fuck up forever https://t.co/IY2uTLLPmU— Telefon Tel Aviv (@telefontelaviv) July 31, 2020
After reading this again it's actually worse...— Geoff Barrow (@jetfury) July 31, 2020
He is actually blaming musicians themselves for not being able to survive of #spotify royalties ??
This is also at a time when artist can't tour because of Covid.
What a asshole @eldsjal is
He's got no fuckin idea https://t.co/xOC6b2lvUu
Daniel Ek has no idea what he's talking about. He has never created any music in his life and has zero right to tell any working musician what they can and can't do. STFU, asshat. https://t.co/3sOVRCFQOQ— Joan Osborne (@joan_osborne) July 31, 2020