News November 30, 2021

‘War is hell’: Aussie producer quits Spotify after Daniel Ek invests €100M in AI defence tech

‘War is hell’: Aussie producer quits Spotify after Daniel Ek invests €100M in AI defence tech

Australian producer b l u e s c r e e n has quit Spotify after CEO Daniel Ek invested €100 million (AUD $158m) in AI defence technology, saying “there’s nothing ethical about it.”

Earlier this month, Ek announced the investment into British-German company Helsing, which will also see Ek join the company’s board as part of the deal.

Brisbane’s b l u e s c r e e n told Resident Advisor that he couldn’t justify continuing to use the platform given Ek’s investment, as well as the platform’s long-criticised royalty rates.

“War is hell. There’s nothing ethical about it, no matter how you spin it,” he said.

“I also left because it became apparent very quickly that Spotify’s CEO, as all billionaires, only got rich off the exploitation of others. As an artist, I cannot morally agree with inadequate payments of royalties to those whose entire livelihood is the reason for Daniel Ek’s success.”

The producer vows to support and continue with Bandcamp, saying “it’s the only platform that has constantly given better rates and community support.”

He’s not alone in his boycott of the streaming giant, with artists around the world following a similar route. UK artist Darren Sangita said the investment represents the weaponisation of music.

“Music is being used as a weapon. I can’t sign up to that, so I’ve already unsubscribed and now plan to take all my music down from Spotify,” Sangita told RA.

“We believe in music as a powerful tool for peace, otherwise it’s a complete contradiction of our music philosophy.”

Last month, the platform marked 172 million subscribers, 19% year-on-year growth, and a 27% increase in revenue in Q3, continuing its reign as the most used streaming service.

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