Country music star Jason Aldean has issued a new statement about Spotify. In it he criticizes the streaming service for cheating artists, writers, and compares himself to a mom and pop store fighting against a large corporation.
Jason Aldean is one of the biggest stars in country music. In his 10 or so years on the scene, he has amassed 14 number one country singles including, "Take a Little Ride", "The Only Way I Know" "When She Says Baby", "Burnin' It Down", "Just Gettin' Started", and "Tonight Looks Good on You" and "Don't You Wanna Stay," his duet with Kelly Clarkson.
In November 2014, Aldean pulled his latest album, "Old Boots, New Dirt" from Spotify after it had set a record for a country music album with 3 million streams during its first week of release. The Spotify version also had exclusive track-by-track commentary by the star accompanying the music. Aldean's move came shortly after Taylor Swift famously pulled her latest album "1989" off the service and wrote an open letter critical of Spotify to the Wall Street Journal.
Now, Aldean has elaborated on his stance and his reasons for pulling his music from Spotify. In it, he criticizes the service and portrays himself as an independent artist fighting an unfair corporate behemoth. "As artists, we don't make crap off of streaming," he claims. "Lots of major record companies are part owners in Spotify, so they're gonna get their money regardless. I'm more about the small guy. I'm on a smaller label. I'm an indie guy. I'm not the big commercial grocery store. I'm the mom-and-pop store."
Aldean argues that while he doesn't want to hurt or disappoint his fans, he is taking a stand for the little guy: "I want fans to hear my music whenever they want. But there's also a right and wrong way to do it. It's easy for everybody to stand back and not take a stand. They think there will be a backlash or don't understand how it works. It's easier to go along with what everybody else is doing. For me, I got a lot of friends who make a living writing songs, and those guys are getting cheated."
Aldean's portrayal of himself as David versus Spotify's Goliath seems a bit disingenuous when you consider his history, though. In 2012, after signing a corporate sponsorship deal with Coors, Aldean agreed to change the lyrics of his already-released number one song "Take A Little Ride" from "grab a little Shiner Bock" to "grab a couple Rocky Tops". Some beer drinkers refer to Coors as "Rocky Top," while Shiner Bock is a competing beer brand.