Essay: Spotify’s CEO just made me throw up in my mouth

Musicians across the Sacramento region often invest everything they have, including their own money, into sharing their art. Spotify's CEO just spat in their faces. Photograph by John Matychuk.

By Katie Knipp

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I am someone that really enjoys spreading positivity around. It makes life so much lovelier than spreading any kind of negativity. However, I have to call out the CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek. He just publicly stated that “the cost of creating content is close to zero.”  

“Content” is a term I never use for art or music of any kind, but you know how people with little-to-no taste are.

My latest album cost me $20,000 to make. As a mother and penny-pincher who is on a music teacher’s salary – and who will never dip into the household money to invest in my projects – Ek pretty much made me throw up in my mouth.  

Then I got really mad.  

Then I got sad.  

But then I remembered something else.

This year my Sacramento-area fans encouraged me to press vinyl as well, an even more expensive music product that I was always timid about investing in. They did this because they are buying my music and therefore making it all worthwhile. I am now wondering how soon I need to get another batch pressed since I have sold a good 70% of the lot because of their amazing support. So, today I am cloaked in love, gratitude and appreciation.    

Am I banning Spotify the way Neil Young did?  No. I use it too. It’s my modern mixtape. (Ah the days of running to the tape deck to record favorite radio songs then giving it to my crush at the time …) Spotify also helps me discover new podcasts on my late-night drives from shows. Sometimes I even discover new music on there, though most major record labels now own the playlists, so a gal like me may not ever be seen there unless this new album catapults to the stratosphere. I admit, I hope it does.  

Katie Knipp is a Sacramento-area singer and songwriter whose latest album, “Me,” has a release show at Harlow’s on Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m. Tickets here.

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