(CelebrityAccess) Spotify has had a lot of new in the past 24 hours, from business moves to rumors to controversy.
International label collective Merlin has sold off all of its Spotify shares to the estimated tune of $100 million to $125 million, according to Music Week, following similar sales by Sony and Warner. Unlike the latter, however, Merlin has already shared its profits with its members. Sony, which has sold off half of its stake in Spottily, and Warner, have pledged to share their proceeds with distributed indie labels.
“Merlin is an organisation that exists solely to maximize the value of our members’ rights and keeps only the monies that it needs to operate,” Merlin CEO Charles Caldas told Music Week. “It is outside of Merlin’s remit to hold a long-term equity position in a publicly-listed company where there is a liquid and transparent market for that equity. We therefore worked quickly to liquidate our interest in Spotify and have passed the proceeds to our eligible members.”
Merlin did not disclose the money realized by the sale.
Meanwhile, Variety looked into the rumor that Troy Carter, head of Spotify’s global head of creator services, is planning to exit the company before his two-year anniversary. A Spotify representative “emphatically” denied Carter’s exit, but rumors persist. All signs point to Carter’s disagreement with Spotify’s new policy to ban endorsement of certain artists like R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from its playlists. Rumor was Carter pushed back against the company “determining values” and was even said to call an urgent team meeting to discuss the backlash over the new policy.
However, Carter apparently showed up for work yesterday.
While all of this was going on, or at least supposedly going on, women’s advocacy group UltraViolet not only is endorsing the new “Hate Content and Hateful Content” public policy but is asking Spotify to widen the net, according to the Los Angeles Times.
UltraViolet published an open letter to Spotify chief Daniel Ek applauding the decision but wanting the policy to include, specifically, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nelly, Eminem, Don Henley, Steven Tyler, 6ix9ine, and Chris Brown – acts that have been accused of abusing or harassing women.
“[R. Kelly and XXXTEntacion] are not the only abusers on your platform. We implore you to take a deeper look at the artists you promote,” the organization’s executive director Shaunna Thomas wrote in the letter.
“Every time a famous individual continues to be glorified despite allegations of abuse, we wrongly perpetuate silence by showing survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence that there will be no consequences for abuse,” the letter continued. “That has a cultural effect far beyond one individual artist.”