Developing story: Paul McCartney pulls out of Spotify

Developing story: Paul McCartney pulls out of Spotify


norman lebrecht

February 08, 2012

This could be another of those musicians vs cheap media sagas. Watch this space.


  • Doug says:

    People like McCartney and Madonna need hard “kicks on the bottom” to wake up to the harsh reality the rest of us are living every day. He won’t see a single penny from me.

    • Old Cynic says:

      If Macca and Madonna stayed on Spotify, they wouldn’t even receive a single penny – just fractions of one every time their work is listened to (or so I understand), so maybe they have a point…. Do you/would you work for free?
      You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and not pay or expect a mechanic to service your car for nothing. If you want music then buy it or if you want it for free, listen to the radio.

      • Will Mego says:

        Here’s the issue, which for those two, isn’t much of an issue. I WILL pay spotify every month….I WILL NOT give a single penny, fraction of a penny, or whiff of a thought about one to either of those. So they can accept the fraction of a penny if for some unknown reason I happen to click on a track of theirs on spotify, or they can accept nothing. I’m sure neither one could care less about my penny or fraction thereof….I’m also quite sure there’s somebody else who will care, and isn’t a millionaire, and will happily take my smidgeon of a penny.

        Here’s the other thing, however: Rail about piracy and copyright and congressional acts all you like. The future arrived a while back, and the law and society is always playing catch up. The answer to these issues is the so-called “cloud”, of which spofify is an example.

        P.S. on a separate issue, the only reason radio is still alive is something newspapers would profit to remember: radio is (when done well) an act of curation. Forgetting this, both will fade away. Remembering this, both could be far stronger than even their respective historic periods of dominance would suggest.

        • Old Cynic says:

          Not sure I understand your point. Everybody, no matter what profession they are in, should have to right to decide how they wish to work. Just because the two artists in question happen to be wealthy is almost immaterial. They would not/could not have become wealthy (or even made a living wage) if they had not sold their songs/records/concerts in the first place and if a record label hadn’t taken a risk and put money into their development in the first place.

          Likewise, the new emerging artists cannot continue with their chosen career path if they are forced to give away their work for free or else put up with the possibility of it being pirated (and therefore given away for free anyway). Nobody can make a living if they are not paid for their time and efforts. The general public can moan about ‘the future arriving a while back’ but just because technology ‘can’ it doesn’t mean that it should.

          But that’s okay as Simon Cowell and his merry band will continue to chuck out their manufactured music to make a fast buck and the public can continue to moan that there is no new ‘proper’ music and that record labels won’t invest in new talent any more … it’s tricky to invest when there is no chance of a return. A return on your investment is something that most other profit-making organisations are allowed to look forward to but a record label or musician must feel guilty about wanting.

  • Janet Miller says:

    This has been making the rounds lately:

    Craigslist Ad: We are a small & casual restaurant in downtown Vancouver and we are looking for solo musicians to play in our restaurant to promote their work and sell their CD. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. More Jazz, Rock, & smooth type music, around the world and mixed cultural music. Are you interested to promote your work? Please reply back ASAP.

    A Musician’s Reply: Happy new year! I am a musician with a big house looking for a restauranteur to come to my house to promote his/her restaurant by making dinner for me and my friends. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get a positive response. More fine dining & exotic meals and mixed Ethnic Fusion cuisine. Are you interested to promote your restaurant? Please reply back ASAP.

    • Old Cynic says:

      Absolutely spot on! Enough said.

      • Doug says:

        Sorry to hear that McCartney is having a hard time paying the bills.

        How many of you coming down on the side of McCartney are actually career musicians, raise your hand.

        Mine’s up.

        Now, how many of you have allowed your music to remain on Spotify because it’s an excellent promotional tool, raise your hand.

        Mine’s up.

        The rest of you keyboard philosophers can go ahead and pay $1,000 to see Sir Paul.

  • Mikko says:

    I don’t know how much Spotify pays McCartney, but from what I understand, less known artists get pennies. The question then becomes: is it worth it to stay on Spotify for the promotional value? McCartney is one of the most famous people on the planet, so I doubt he needs Spotify for promotion. Online distribution of the music? His stuff is available on the bittorrent sites like everyone else’s. If there’s nothing in the Spotify deal for him, I can’t really blame him for quitting. Going exclusively iTunes would be just evil, but from what I understand, his music is available from others, too, DRM-free even.

    I had the misfortune of hearing the Martin Solveig -produced new Madonna single and I cannot unhear it. Yikes. That stuff should not be distributed in any medium at any price. On the other hand, the song for her movie is produced by William Orbit and actually happens to be one of her better ones (which is not to say that it’s any good).