Snoop Dogg claims that the music industry “isn’t working anymore” because of streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify.
According to Insider, the Doggystyle artist went off script during a panel discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference and took aim at streaming service executives on Wednesday (May 3).
After Larry Jackson, Apple’s former music creative director, spoke about an “exciting time” for Hip-Hop due to its dominance on DSPs, Snoop asserted that things weren’t as exciting as they seemed.
“It’s an exciting time, but streaming got to get their sh*t together ’cause I don’t understand how you get paid off of that sh*t,” the “Let’s Get Blown” emcee responded. “Can someone explain to me how you can get a billion streams and not get a million dollars? That sh*t don’t make sense to me.”
“I don’t know who the f**k running the streaming industry — if you’re in here or not — but ni**a, you gotta give us some information on how the f**k to track this money down. Because one plus one ain’t adding up to two.”
As he continued his rant, the Death Row Records boss shifted his attention to the WGA’s current writer’s strike. He broke down how streaming services’ greed impacts all corners of entertainment.
“I just want to speak to that in the music industry. That’s f**ked up, and we need to find a way to figure that out. The writers are striking because streaming. They can’t get paid!”
“This is business, this is a room full of business people, and someone may hear this and be able to do something about this so that the next artists don’t have to struggle or cry or figure out how to get to his money.”
The 26th annual Milken Institute Global Conference also covered the looming issue of artificial intelligence. Writers have been adamant in setting regulations on A.I. use to pen scripts for movies and lyrics for songs, worrying their jobs could be terminated.
Like the writers, Snoop voiced his concerns about the technology at the conference. Referencing Geoffrey Hinton, aka the Godfather of A.I., the West Coast native questioned what would happen in the music industry with this advanced tech.
“It’s blowing my mind because I’ve watched movies as a kid and I used to see this sh*t. Then I heard the dude that created A.I. saying ‘This is not safe cause the A.I.’s got their own minds. I’m like: ‘Are we in a movie now?’ Do I need to invest in A.I.? Do y’all know? I’m lost.”
Both issues of royalties and A.I. came to a head after Universal Music Group requested streaming platforms block the latter from replicating musicians in April 2023.
Financial Times reported that the company asked Spotify, Apple Music, and other DSPs to stop A.I. from using its music to train technology. According to Variety, UMG released a statement regarding the immoral use of artificial intelligence to imitate their artists.
“We have a moral and commercial responsibility to our artists to work to prevent the unauthorized use of their music and to stop platforms from ingesting content that violates the rights of artists and other creators,” the statement read.
“We expect our platform partners will want to prevent their services from being used in ways that harm artists. We have become aware that certain AI systems might have been trained on copyrighted content without obtaining the required consents from, or paying compensation to, the rightsholders who own or produce the content. We will not hesitate to take steps to protect our rights and those of our artists.”