SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor has once again blasted Spotify for the the paltry payments the music streaming service pays out to music rightsholders.
This past January, the Copyright Royalty Board ruled the royalties songwriters receive from on-demand subscription streaming would jump 44 percent over the next five years. Spotify, Google, Pandora and Amazon — four of the major U.S. streaming services — later appealed the ruling, saying that it "harms music licensees and copyright owners."
Asked by SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation" if he is conflicted about music streaming predominantly because of how "shitty the royalties are" for him, Taylor said (hear audio below): "Oh, absolutely. People get the wrong idea. I am not against streaming. I'm not that asshole. I don't care how people get the music. My whole concern is the fact that you are supporting a platform that is putting artists out of business — unless you can get millions upon millions upon millions of streams. They're chucking crumbs at people. I'm fortunate enough to be able to… I can go out on the road and earn a living. We sell merch; I can earn a living like that. But what about these bands that can't do that? How are they supposed to do that?
"For me, I don't care if you stream the music," he continued. "My problem isn't with the fan. My problem is with the streaming services themselves — the fact that artists are not being compensated for the work that they busted their ass to record, to create, and then put themselves in hock to a record label that is getting paid first from streaming services, before the arist. Which is really crazy, because then the artists have to pay the money back that it took to go in and record this thing in the first place. There's so many things that are against the artist these days now. That's the problem I have. It seems like we are trying to run a marathon in quicksand. And the fans get it wrong. I don't care how you get the music — we care that people are not being compensated. That's the whole point of this."
According to Corey, SLIPKNOT wasn't given an opportunity to decide whether it wanted its music to be on the major streaming platforms. "We didn't get a choice in it, basically," he said. "It's one of those things where the cards were definitely in the label's favor, so they just kind of threw us up there along with the rest of the roster."
Asked if SLIPKNOT was able to use some of its leverage as one of the biggest bands on Roadrunner to negotiate a better deal for itself with regard to music-streaming payouts, Taylor said: "I think we can the next time we go to renegotiate. Unfortunately, we didn't do it this time around, because we were in a situation where we hadn't renegotiated… The last time we did it was a couple of albums ago — let's put it that way — and at the time, we didn't take that into consideration. For whatever reason, whoever was doing the negotiating, it was one of those things that at the time, it wasn't a huge concern. And now, unfortunately, we find ourselves in a different climate. So next time it happens, we have to think about that. So who knows if we're gonna be in the same position. I'm hoping we will."
Taylor reiterated that he is not speaking out against streaming itself, but is voicing his concern that, with album sales in perpetual freefall, streaming services are only paying out fractions of a cent in royalties for each song played.
"Once again, I'm more concerned about people who are not in my position," he said. "I'm more concerned about the fact that up-and-coming bands aren't being able to make a living. They can't take some time off the road to spend time with their families, because maybe there's some publishing coming in or royalties coming in. It's insane what's going on right now. I've seen bands who have been doing it for a while have to hang it up because they don't make anything anymore on the back end. And that's just sad, man. You bust your ass for 15 years, and you've gotta hang it up because of that? That's not right."
SLIPKNOT's sixth album, "We Are Not Your Kind", was released on August 9 via Roadrunner Records.