Garth Brooks Explains Why His Music Will Never Be On Spotify or Apple Music

15 March 2023 | 2:51 pm | Emma Whines

"I stick up for the songwriters because I’m freakin’ one of them! Everything I do for the songwriters, I do for myself.”

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It's a known fact that legendary singer-songwriter Garth Brooks is not a fan of streaming services. He's made it clear over the years that his views do not align with Spotify and Apple Music, and therefore he will never license his music for those streaming services, so it came as a shock that in 2016, he shared that he was signing an exclusive streaming deal with Amazon Music. 

Following the deal, Brooks made his first appearance at SXSW in over 16 years and opened up a little more about his decision, recounting the meetings he took with the two streaming giants, as reported by Billboard

“Spotify came in, Daniel Ek came down to sit with me, sweet man, I love Daniel, great guy,” Brooks said of the Spotify founder/CEO. “I think he gets a lot of crap. His parents were both street musicians – he’s a good guy who understands music, and I think he wants to help and believes 100 per cent he’s helping.” 

“Apple’s a little different story. They came in with their own set of rules, and if you’re already established, you have to change to get to them. I’m never going to change to fit their rules. Nice guys, we have respect for each other, we’re just never going to work together. So we were kind of dead in the water. Then out of the blue, thank God, Amazon shows up and wants to get into the streaming business…. The views they shared seemed to correlate with the views we shared.”

Despite eluding to those views, long-time fans still never really understood what made Brooks decide to commit to an Amazon deal that essentially seemed identical to the one he would be signing with Spotify or Apple Music. That was until this weekend when the country star explained further in an interview at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, reports UPROXX.

“The fact is that Amazon is a retailer as well,” Brooks told CRS executive director RJ Curtis.

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“So you can sign your streaming deal, but part of that streaming deal is to move those physical units so the songwriters get paid. And people, we can talk all day that ‘Garth went on to raise his kids, what a great’— Garth did that for himself. I stick up for the songwriters because I’m freakin’ one of them! Everything I do for the songwriters, I do for myself.”

“I’m the most selfish guy you’ve ever met, okay? But if we don’t take care of these songwriters, what do you guys have to play? It’s just tough, so that’s why I love partnering with [Amazon]. So the physical comes in, and nobody’s doing physical anymore. So these songwriters are still doing well.

“And I hope that songwriters want to get a Garth Brooks cut. One, because I hope that they think that it would be cool. But two, right behind it closely, I hope it’s because they know that if you’re a Garth Brooks songwriter, you’re going to get paid.”

Considering that Brooks is one of the most successful musicians of all time, with the most diamond-certified albums and one of the highest-selling North American tours ever, it's probably best to take a page out of his book.