Spotify’s latest ad campaign, highlighting the 30-day free trial of its premium tier, is generating some heat on Twitter. “Dance like nobody’s paying,” is the main slogan.
Musician and artist-rights campaigner Blake Morgan was quick to voice his unhappiness with the concept. “Here’s @Spotify’s new tone-deaf ad campaign. Keep in mind that it takes 380,000 streams a month on @Spotify for an artist to earn minimum wage. Meanwhile, the average @Spotify employee earns $14,000 a month,” wrote Morgan. “Nobody’s paying? We musicians are, with our lives.”
He’s since been joined by other artists and activists, from songwriter David Poe (“A culture that declares music to be worthless and disposable gets worthless, disposable music”) to David Lowery (“‘As if noone is paying?!?!’ That was/is literally true for many indie songwriters. Brand damage.”)
Some prominent tweets from existing Spotify critics and a smattering of press coverage doesn’t yet make a PR disaster for the company. But given the recent controversies – from its CRB-rates appeal to its legal battle in India – letting a phrase like ‘nobody’s paying’ onto an ad campaign does feel a bit like a marketing own-goal.