Jason Aldean Explains Decision to Pull Music From Spotify as Brantley Gilbert and Justin Moore Follow Suit
Brantley Gilbert and Justin Moore are the latest two artists to remove their music from online music streaming service Spotify. The country hitmakers are following in the steps of Taylor Swift, who removed all of her music from the site on Sept. 3, and Jason Aldean, who removed his latest 'Old Boots, New Dirt' record recently as well.
"The debate the whole music industry is having on streaming is complicated," Aldean says in a statement. "And while I'm definitely paying attention to the business side of things, I am first and foremost an artist. I'm an artist whose career has been built by the songwriters, publishers, producers and engineers that line Music Row in Nashville. What they do has value, and I want everyone who is involved in making my music to be paid fairly.
"This is about trying to do what is right for the people who have given me a great life," he adds.
For her part, Swift stands by her decision to remove all of her music from Spotify, regardless of whether other artists follow her example.
“In my opinion, the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace," Swift explains. "Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently.”
Swift, Gilbert and Moore are all on the Big Machine record label, which famously held Gilbert's 'Just as I Am' album for 60 days before releasing it on Spotify. Now, a search for that record, Moore's 'Off the Beaten Path,' 'Old Boots, New Dirt' by Aldean or anything by Swift brings up a message that says, "The artist or their representatives have decided not to release this album on Spotify. We are working on it and hope they will change their mind soon."
Spotify, however, refutes the claims by Swift and others that they unfairly distribute the music.
"Taylor Swift is absolutely right: Music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it," Spotify team member Daniel Ek says. "We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work.
"Here’s the thing I really want artists to understand: Our interests are totally aligned with yours," he continues. "Even if you don’t believe that’s our goal, look at our business. Our whole business is to maximize the value of your music. We don’t use music to drive sales of hardware or software. We use music to get people to pay for music. The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you."
Read Ek's entire statement here.