Spotify Boycott: Artists depart streaming service as CEO backs AI weapons

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Musicians and podcasters are issuing a Spotify boycott following CEO Daniel Ek’s decision to invest in AI weaponry. During one of the apps most important events — Spotify Wrapped — artists and fans alike took to social media to denounce the platform.

Reported by MusicTech, multiple artists have come out in opposition of Ek's newest investment. Not only has the support of an AI defence firm been classed as unethical, but it's been described as a “complete contradiction” of Spotify’s purpose.

Why is there a Spotify Boycott

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Days before the release of Spotify Wrapped 2021, CEO Daniel Ek announced an investment of $100 million in Helsing AI. Additionally, Ek will be joining the board of the artificial intelligence defense company.

The Spotify Boycott was started in the replies of Ek’s announcement. As many questioned the ethics of the decision, multiple repliers announced that they were cancelling their subscription. One user commented: “after having been a Spotify user since the beta in 2007 I cancelled my account because of this”.

This statement was quickly echoed by Spotify musicians. music producer Darren Sangita took to Twitter to announce their departure from the platform. Sangita announced:

“#BoycottSPOTIFY now! Cancel your subscription today. Artists and music lovers must not support the military #AI industry! Register your anger at the #Spotify involvement in sponsorship of Arms Corporations. This is so vile. Music is NOT War! Just wrong on every level.”

Read More: Killer Robot ban refused by the United States

More artists call out the company

In a report by Resident Advisor, more musicians started to join the ranks of the Spotify Boycott. Vaporwave music producer Bluescreen told the outlet that this move is just another instance of Ek getting “rich off the exploitation of others.”

Additionally, Bluescreen echoed the complaints that the streaming service’s CEO is acting unethically. He said: “There’s nothing ethical about it, no matter how you spin it.”