Rocker Peter Gabriel is part of a think tank of musicians developing an alternative to music-sharing website Spotify that will directly benefit the artists whose tracks appear online.
The “Sledgehammer” hitmaker admits he has “a problem” with Spotify, because CEO Daniel Ek and his partners are paying record company executives and not the artists performing the music fans can stream.
He tells Rolling Stone, “It’s a great service and I love being able to get anything anytime. But they made a deliberate decision to get in bed with the record companies. They gave them equity positions, which means they can make payments to them without paying the artists. I have a fundamental ethical problem with that.
“I wish they were just a little more respectful to the artists. They are making all these deals, but the payments are so minuscule and way out of line with what the record companies are making.
“Twenty, thirty, even fifty years of hard-won compensations and rights are being lost. It’s not critical to successful artists because we can make money from live shows, but younger artists are going to have to start taking other jobs.
“Bono and I met with Daniel Ek. He was a nice enough guy and I understand they have to keep their stockholders happy… but I would like to see other artists get together and demand something different.”
And Gabriel reveals he could be the guy to pioneer a new music-sharing website that benefits the musicians directly: “There are some other alternatives that I can’t talk about yet, but I’m looking at them right now. I hope some other means arise where artists can get income.”