Dave Allen, iconic musician and participant in the “Spotify debate,” announced in the Beats Music blog that he has accepted the position of Director, Artist & Music Industry Advocate. He will write and speak about issues concerning musicians and streaming services. Allen’s most publicized remarks concerning streaming music were in an article in which he refuted David Byrne’s famous characterization of the streaming-music industry as “The last desperate fart of a dying corpse.”
Allen’s new association with Beats Music gives him an official and prominent platform on which to advocate for Beats Music specifically, and the streaming-music model generally. He promises to “[reach out] to artists and the recorded music industry to find common ground and debate real issues and real problems, problems that can hopefully be solved without resorting to rhetoric that inflames rather than assuages doubts.”
Having Dave Allen on its staff is a win for Beats Music on a couple of points. First, the company gains an impassioned, articulate, and credible evangelist.
Second, and perhaps more far-reaching, Allen allows Beats to approach a fearful and skeptical musician community in a different way from Spotify’s recent metrics-based defense of its metrics-based approach to artist relationships. Putting a musician in its executive lineup reinforces Beats Music’s marketing stance as a technology platform created by musicians, and friendly to musicians.
“I am back in the music business after 13 years,” Allen enthuses. “I am very happy to join a dedicated team of people here at Beats Music, who are extremely passionate about music.”