Jim Auton: Professional Cynic #9 - Why are you still using Spotify?!?

Jim Auton: Professional Cynic #9 – Why are you still using Spotify?!?

So, we’ve known that Spotify has underpaid artists for a long time. But we’ve kept using it.

We’ve heard they basically bully acts to promote their upcoming releases, volume of streams and data about how great Spotify has been. But we’ve kept using it.

We’ve learnt that they paid some chap hundreds of millions of dollars to have exclusive rights to his podcast, whilst being unwilling to pay artists more for the “product” they make billions from. But still, we keep using it.

We learn they’ve invested millions of Euros in an arms company, and in the midst of a war in Europe that threatens everyone’s freedoms, we still use it.

They find enough money to sponsor FC Barcelona, one of the biggest football teams in the world to the tune of 300 odd million dollars. And we couldn’t care less.


Fuck me, I forgot, they want to REDUCE the amount they pay artists by appealing the decision by the Copyright Royalty Board to award 15% revenue share to songwriters and publishers. This is even an old decision, a new one is imminent with a request for 20% in consideration.

But this won’t bother many people. Who fucking cares?

What’s that? You still buy LPs and CDs? Well, that’s ok then. Industry saved. Never mind them finding enough cash to chuck it at war mongerers, liars and sporting giants, they can only afford to pay your favourite new band 0.002 pence a stream, which they don’t definitely see, you’ve spent £25 on a record. Job done.

It’s just all too inconvenient to stop using it. If you can’t find the song just released by an artist immediately on your ten quid a month magic app then you’ll throw a paddy. I mean, a certain band consisting of two fifths of one of the biggest bands on the planet have been releasing tracks and lottery tickets to win very limited 7” pressings of two of those songs, but that’s not good enough, “where’s the fucking album” every comments section to social media posts cried. They were genuinely angry. But they’ve gotten there wish. Its out soon everyone. Feel better now? Bless.

In a world where people are being killed, run from their homes and displaced from their countries, people get pissed off that an album, that is almost certainly on its way, hasn’t been dropped immediately, a la In Rainbows (ooops given it away there haven’t I).

We have an obsession with cancel culture currently. Very happy to swing the axe on anyone that has been accused of a variety of things, from abuses to racism, but when it comes to a conglomerate that provides their favourite music at a touch of a screen, that’s far too much to contemplate because it affects you.

It is so very easy to be keyboard warriors of various degrees, virtue signalling your way to the top of your moral high ground. But as Tom Rees said when I interviewed him this year “I think we have a really toxic relationship with the idea of activism, it’s a lived thing, you believe you’re an activist but when it actually comes down to it, when people are throwing bricks through shop windows, you think, I think I will just stay at home”.

And that’s it isn’t it?!? Nail on the head. No one is asking for you to picket Spotify, or even start a petition. Just stop fucking using it. Its that simple. And before anyone says it, yes, all streaming platforms can do better, but pick your battles. This is an evil corporation headed by Ming the Merciless. Lets start there. He’ll be sponsoring Russia next.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.