After Tidal’s star-studded coming-out party, the debutante of the streaming service world was lashed by numerous critics and artists — including Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, who succinctly stated, “They blew it.”
This week, international behemoth Apple added its name to the streaming-service game with Apple Music. And lo and behold, Gibbard isn’t crazy about that one either.
It’s not so much the service itself that irks the indie frontman — it’s Apple’s approach to doing business.
“It seems like the model for every streaming service that exists at the moment is based upon building a monopoly,” Gibbard told NME. “‘When people start using our service, that’s when artists will see real money,’ but that’s just not how it’s going to happen.
“A lot of these platforms make the claim of being artist-friendly, but I don’t know any kind of small struggling acts that have been approached by Spotify or Apple or Tidal about how they could make their platform better for artists who are not billionaires, who are not millionaires.”
This is far from the first monopoly accusation leveled at Apple. iTunes and the iPod were accused of attempting to create an illegal monopoly in the digital-music market in court, but that battle came to a close in 2014 when a jury sided with Apple.
Currently, the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut are investigating Apple Music to see if the streaming service pressured or colluded with record labels to withdraw their support for other services.