The Who are one of rock and roll’s most storied and beloved groups. From being credited with the creation of the first rock Opera to selling over 100 million albums worldwide, there is certainly no question that The Who are one of the greatest bands of all time. During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist, and singer for the band, the legendary Pete Townshend was asked about the latest situation regarding Spotify and the Joe Rogan Experience and his opinions and thoughts on the matter. The Who recently revealed a surprising Neil Young concert video.
He first compared Spotify to Apple and how he was against the notion of streaming companies not developing and putting money back into the artists that they put on their platform.
“You have to remember I took my heart in my hands during the first John Peel lecture and I attacked Apple. This is before Spotify even got its roots in. My attack was based on what they’d done. They’d come along and imposed themselves on the music industry as it stood then. They extracted money from it. They diverted money from the record companies to themselves because they’d come up with a piece of smart and very useful software, can’t deny that, and didn’t support the music industry. They didn’t develop artists. They didn’t put money back into artists.”
In regards to Joe Rogan, Townshend would continue by stating that he doesn’t have a firm opinion on the issue from a free speech perspective but would rather state the fact that Joe Rogan is valued at one million dollars by Spotify as “Insane”.
“If I’ve got an argument with Spotify, it isn’t whether Joe Rogan is or is not right or wrong. It’s not for me to say. I think free speech is free speech. I don’t know where I stand on it. Whether or not Neil Young or Joni Mitchell removes their music from Spotify isn’t going to make a big difference … it’s the fact that Spotify are paying [Rogan] $100 million bucks! Jesus Christ!”
It should be noted, however, that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is well aware of the fact his company doesn’t pay musicians much as he has been on record stating in 2019 “We don’t pay musicians much, but we have to pay so much for our service base. If so many people use Spotify for free, we’re going to go bankrupt.” So maybe podcasts have saved online streaming, and who knows what’s around the corner?