Spotify sounds a lot like a Disturbed song title, so perhaps that’s one of the reasons why the band’s frontman David Draiman is such a big fan of the music streaming service. In a recent interview with Examiner, Draiman, who’s side project with Geno Lenardo, Device, was released yesterday, said that he foresaw the popularity of streaming services way back in the early days of Disturbed, and if labels had listened to him, they would have made deals with ISP’s that would’ve seen labels getting monetized.
I am a big believer of Spotify. I have been since its inception. I have been a champion of it. I am their ambassador of rock. So I could not be more happy with its continued growth and continued success. I think that it’s a beautiful way to take away the demonization of the consumer, and enable people to have access to as much music as they possibly can, whenever they want, as long as they have a 3G signal or better, and even if they don’t have that, they can save it to the memory cache, the PDA, on their computer. It’s a perfect utilization of the technology, and it takes all of the attractiveness away from illegal file sharing because you get access to all of this material at a high level of sound quality for a very reasonable price, and/or for free, if you’re subscribing to the Premium level, and at the same time, there still is a revenue stream directed back to the artist. No one is being stolen from, people are being compensated, and everybody’s happy. That is really what I wish would have happened 10 years ago – 15 years ago, even. I had always been pushing the record labels in particular to negotiate directly with the ISPs way back in the day. We’re talking 10 years ago, there were 70 million people subscribing to ISPs. If you built in a fee into that subscription price, $2.50, $5.00, whatever the case may be – and that entitled you to unlimited file sharing, bonuses, extras, early releases, and so on and so forth – who wouldn’t be down for it? And then all of a sudden 70 million people times $5.00 a month is a whole lot of revenue that everybody’s been missing out on. It takes away the demonization from the consumer, you don’t have the RIAA filing lawsuits against kids for not buying products anymore..that’s what I wanted to happen for years and years, it took something like Spotify to actually make it feasible for everyone. I really thank God for it.
It actually might have been a good idea for labels to strike deals with internet service providers, but it’s doubtful that non-music fans would’ve agreed to a fee. Also, it’s pretty laughable that Draiman was pushing record labels to do anything. Sure, the guy’s band was responsible for a string of platinum albums over the years, but it would take more than one artist to convince a major label to change what they do, and it’s hard to find any corporation that was more blindsided by technology than record labels in the Napster age.