Björk questions freemium, but embraces other music technologies

bjork vulnicuraBjörk has built the reputation as one of music’s more unique and innovative performers and songwriters, so it’s no surprise that many people listen up to hear her perspective on the industry today. In an interview with Fast Company, Björk addressed some of the challenges that go into releasing an album in today’s music market. She has opted to keep her new album Vulnicura off of Spotify over concerns about its freemium business model. “It’s not about the money; it’s about respect, you know?” she said. “Respect for the craft and the amount of work you put into it.”

But that’s not to say Björk is opposed to taking advantage of the latest technologies; after all, she released her last album as an app. She said that a windowed approach, such as what Netflix has achieved with movies and television, might be a better model from the artist’s perspective. “You go first to the cinema and after a while it will come on ­Netflix,” she explained. “It’s first physical and then maybe you can stream it later.”

Her perspective on albums as a format were also intriguing. When asked if the traditional format might get phased out entirely, Björk acknowledged that albums are not always the ideal vehicle. “A lot of the songs I listen to, I don’t want to hear them as albums. They’re pop songs or whatever,” she said. “And then there are other ones where I want to sit down and listen to a story.”

Anna Washenko