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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Napster-Hating Metallica Comes to Jesus, Er, Spotify

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Ulrich and Parker hugging, now that they can make money together. - VIA MAGER/INSTAGRAM
  • via Mager/Instagram
  • Ulrich and Parker hugging, now that they can make money together.

Nearly 13 years after suing Napster, the filesharing site that started it all, the grouchy old men of Metallica have had a come-to-Jesus of sorts with the power of the Interwebz: Today, drummer Lars Ulrich announced that Metallica's music will be coming to Spotify.

He even gave Napster co-founder and Spotify investor Sean Parker a hug. Onstage. In public.

The move comes just days after Metallica took ownership of its masters, announced the launch of its own label, Blackened Records, and left Warner Bros., its longtime home. And as Ulrich explained today (via Peter Kafka), taking ownership of its own music changes the streaming game for the band significantly, since publishers (owners) of music do much better under streaming royalty schemes than performers do. Spotify streams don't pay much, as we all know, but now the members of Metallica will get 100 percent of whatever they do pay.

Still, the arrival of Metallica on Spotify is surprising given the rocky relationship the band has had in the past with the digital revolution. Ulrich claimed today that the band's Napster suit wasn't about money, but "control" (via Billboard Biz). But we're skeptical. After all, Metallica only put its music on Spotify when it stood to rake in all of the revenue from its streams. This isn't quite a come-to-Jesus with technology, then. It's more like a coming-into-another-source-of-cash.

See also:

* Metallica Goes Indie (Sort of) with Launch of Blackened Records

-- @iPORT

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Ian S. Port


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