Steve Angello Defends Streaming, Says Artists Who Complain Do It for Publicity

Joseph Okpako/WireImage
Steve Angello perfroms on Day 2 of We Are FSTVL on May 31, 2015 in London, England. 

Producer and former Swedish House Mafia member Steve Angello has a theory about why artists shun certain streaming services when it’s time to release an album. “It’s publicity,” he said this week at the Web Summit in Dublin. "A lot of people talk about it."

Without referring to famous critics like Taylor Swift and Prince, Angello said it was shortsighted of artists to pick one streaming service over another. "I see it as record stores -- why would I not allow a record store to release it?” he said, according to Cnet. “A 15-year-old might not to be able to afford Apple, Spotify, Tidal and Google. Why would you limit those guys from hearing your music?"

Angello, who is owner and founder of Size Records, said that “every streaming service does pay” and that artists should “go back and talk to their record labels” if they’re not seeing adequate compensation. “For me it’s different,” he said. “I’ve always owned all my masters so I get 100 percent.”

Joanna Newsom Calls It 'Villainous,' But Spotify
Says Less Artists Are Complaining

He might as well be talking directly to singer/harpist Joanna Newsom, who last month called Spotify a “villainous cabal of major labels” that was “built from the ground up” to help labels skimp on paying artists. Spotify says it pays out 70 percent of its gross revenue to rights holders, which includes labels, publishers and direct payments to independent artists (like Angello). An artist’s share of that money could depend on what kind of record/publishing deal they have in place.

"Downloading and streaming is the evolution of music services," Angello said at the conference. "A lot of people are fighting it, but I think it's the best thing that ever happened."