Death Cab For Cutie have been one of the most successful alternative rock bands in recent history, selling well over 3 million albums since their first in 1998. Frontman Ben Gibbard and bassist Nick Harmer recently discussed their thoughts and feelings about online streaming services such as Tidal, Apple Music, and Spotify. Bringing up a lot of valid points throughout the six-minute video, the bandmates explain what they think the problems are and how they can be fixed.
Ben speaks about how they think that every streaming service wants to build a monopoly, but no one streaming service will ever take over completely and put the others out of business. Although platforms differ, the basics of each streaming service like the purpose and prices, are all basically the same. They believe that consumers will continue to use the service that they’re already using and feel comfortable with.
He also touched on the fact that people don’t typically buy records anymore and that streaming is now the norm, but he completely accepts the fact that this is the world we live in. The two are frustrated that the music makers and artists have been shut out of the discussion when it comes to streaming services. Nick says, “There are labels and venture capitalists that are all sitting around tables negotiating rates and values so they can all become millionaires.” He feels that it should be less about the executives and creators of these services and more about the music makers, publishers, and songwriters.
The bottom line is that streaming services are still evolving, and having these discussions is important for the future of musicians. Creators of these streaming platforms claim that their services are “artist friendly” and will revolutionize the music industry, but lots of musicians like Death Cab feel the system is unfair to smaller struggling artists.
For the latest music, news, and tour dates from Death Cab For Cutie, check out their Zumic artist page.