Jared Leto on streaming music: It’s about the label.

jared leto 250wIn a Hollywood Reporter interview, singer Jared Leto of the band 30 Seconds to Mars offered his thoughts about streaming music. Like other musicians who have contributed to what we call the “Spotify debate,” Leto has his doubts about the sustainability of streaming, for musicians. But he points a huge measure of accountability at record labels, and their purported failure to create fair deals with musicians when negotiating with music services.

Leto’s perspective is largely honed by his famous battles with the label which signed 30 Seconds to Mars, which reportedly sued the band for $30-million when the group attempted to escape from its contract. That story is told in a full-length documentary, Artifact, which won the People’s Choice for best documentary at the Toronto Film Festival in 2012.

“There’s a perception that music is free,” Leto says in the interview. “Even if you’re paying for a premium service, you still have music at your disposal.”

“The streaming companies are paying record labels, but record labels are not paying artists,” Leto accused. “I’d welcome anybody to debate that.”

Focusing on label contracts as the crux of musicians’ plight with streaming royalties is not a unique perspective. And Leto expresses happiness with technology generally, as an enabler in the production and distribution of music.

“I think we’re in a state of transition […] but there still isn’t a clear new model.”

Read the interview, and some history, here.

Brad Hill