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Jimmy Buffett Asks Spotify's Daniel Ek for a Raise

The answer was no.

At Vanity Fair’s inaugural New Establishment Summit in San Francisco today, the first audience question for a music industry panel came from Jimmy Buffett.

“The money goes to the label in a stream, and it trickles to the artist,” the “Margaritaville” singer said. So Buffett asked Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek, “Do you see anything in your future where we might get a raise directly from you?”

Ek argued that Spotify is already changing the music industry because of its transparency. Spotify subscriptions now account for 70 percent of all music revenue in Sweden, the company’s home country, he said. And secondly, Spotify pays out 70 percent of every dollar to rights holders, the same deal whether they are artists or labels, Ek said.

Then there was this exchange:

Ek: We’re going to pay out a little bit more than a billion dollars to the music industry this year.
Buffett: But it’s actually still lower than what we used to get.
Ek: Of course.
Buffett: That’s why I was hoping for a raise.

And at that point moderator and long-time music manager Irving Azoff broke in to tell Buffett that if he’s looking for money, he should just sell one of his private planes. Because it doesn’t look like Spotify will come through with a raise anytime soon.

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