In 2000, Lars Ulrich and Metallica, issued a lawsuit against the (illegal) file-sharing software, Napster and it's founder Sean Parker.
Twelve years later, the two were on the same stage announcing that Metallica's music is available for free streaming on Parker's current service, Spotify.
How times have changed.
Ulrich and Parker shared the stage just a few days after Metallica announced the launch of their own record label, Blackened Recordings, which will house all of their music, which they just got all the rights to from their original label, Warner.
Spotify held a press event earlier today, and in a surprise move announced that Ulrich was there and that Metallica is coming to Spotify. Ulrich had this to say:
“When [Sean Parker and I] saw each other a few months ago, we could see that we had been put as adversaries but we had much more in common and sitting down was long overdue. We were younger, maybe somewhat more ignorant to what was going on in the real world. When we sat down and had a heart to heart”.
“Spotify has solidified itself not just as the leading music service, but as far as I’m concerned the only one. Spotify is a global entity and Metallica works on a global basis too.”
Spotify currently has 20 million active users, and 5 million paying subscribers. For comparison, Napster had 100 million users at it's peak, twelve years ago, so Spotify still has a ways to go.
Either way, this shows we are living in a new, streaming-based world. Maybe more artists will hop on the Spotify train, perhaps some metal labels that have been holding out as well.
I think Spotify is a service of the future. Most people do not want to be bothered to spend time finding good quality illegal downloads, but at the same time, cannot afford to keep up with a thriving music habit. Spotify provides the best of both worlds giving you unlimited access to their music for a measly five dollars a month. For an extra five dollars, you can use the service on your phone and even have some of your favorite music stored offline on there for when you're in a subway. I truly feel this is where music consumption is going…everything ever recorded, available quickly at your fingertips. Let's just get the royalties figured out.
We recently published two conflicting stories, one saying that Spotify does not pay very well, and another saying that Spotify does in fact pay well, and it pays the labels directly, and those artists not being paid well are the result of poorly structured deals.