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SUMAC Protest Spotify By Refusing To Put New Album “May You Be Held” On The Service


The continued absence of SUMAC‘s new album “May You Be Held” on streaming service Spotify has been confirmed to be intentional. The outfit, who feature members and alumni of Isis, Russian Circles and Baptists, among others, released the outing this past Friday, October 02nd via Thrill Jockey Records. While initially available on Spotify, the album was quickly pulled and remains absent as of press time, sans the single “The Iron Chair“.

While the record is available via digital service providers such as Apple Music, the band have taken a stance against Spotify in light of comments made by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek earlier this summer. Presumably those comments stem from this podcast appearance. Ek in part stated:

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“…Obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough. The artists today that are making it realize that it’s about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans.”

“I feel, really, that the ones that aren’t doing well in streaming are predominantly people who want to release music the way it used to be released.”

Spotify themselves have also often been decried for their streaming payouts, which clock in at an estimated $0.0032 per stream in 2020, putting them around the middle when it comes to streaming payouts. Amazon Music Unlimited has been observed as the highest paying service with an estimated $0.01196 per stream.

Mike Boyd, director of publicity at Thrill Jockey Records, clarified the situation over the weekend via social media, offering:

“Apologies for the confusion y’all. The iron chair was up as a single before the decision was made to not have the album on Spotify. The album BEING on Spotify was a glitch, which I had to fix. After the pretty repugnant statements Spotify‘s CEO made earlier this year, the band asked that the album not be available on that platform.”

SUMAC‘s Brian Cook has previously addressed issues which the band ran into on Spotify in the past, including this explanation as to why their release “What One Becomes” was oddly split up into additional tracks on that particular service.

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