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Artists Revolt Against Spotify in Open Letter: ‘You Have Used Us’

Nile Rodgers. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

Spotify has made even more of an enemy out of its biggest moneymakers: the songwriters. Following Spotify and other big streaming companies’ controversial decision to appeal a ruling from the Copyright Royalty Board that would require higher payouts to songwriters, several artists — the majority of whom are some of the biggest songwriters in the industry — have signed a joint letter expressing their disgust. “We’re hurt and disappointed,” begins the letter, which is addressed to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. Their reason for calling out Spotify alone, while Google, Amazon, and Pandora were also listed on the appeal, is because the artists say it was “the only provider that made us feel we were working to build a modern music industry together.”

The letter continues, “Now, we see the real reason for your songwriter outreach. You have used us and tried to divide us but we stand together.” The letter — signed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Nile Rodgers, Babyface, Ludwig Göransson, Teddy Geiger, Starrah, Bibi Bourelly, Cirkut, Greg Kurstin, and dozens more — is demanding that Spotify drop its appeal. Several of the signees were previously nominated for Spotify’s Secret Genius Award, which the letter now blasts: “None of us are ‘secret!’ WE all create the ONE thing you sell … songs.”

Artists Call Out Spotify in Open Letter: ‘You Have Used Us’