“Not every artist deserves to be rich”: Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows on Spotify revenue and why Web3 is the future

“I don’t hate Spotify, I just wish they’d share with us who our listeners are, and they don’t.”

Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows

Image: Jo Hale/Getty Images

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Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows has shared his opinion on the difficulty of making money through streaming platforms as an artist, arguing that “not every artist deserves to be rich”.

AX7 have been utilising the world of web3 to not only make money themselves, but to also reward the fans who are attending their shows and buying their merch. Shadows, it seems, believes that web3 could be a way forward for artists to look after their own data and truly understand who their fans are in order to make money.

The band launched Deathbats Club in 2021 – an NFT-based fanclub that rewards members with real-world merch discounts and meet and greets. They’ve also just launched Season Pass, a Fortnite– style progression system that lets fans earn points and unlock rewards.

Speaking to our sister publication MusicTech in a new feature, Shadows argues,“Not every artist deserves to be rich. You have to have market share. People have to want to listen to you. It’s not, ‘Oh, I’m an artist, I should get paid more.’ It’s just not how it works.

“The reason a lot of people don’t get paid a lot on Spotify is that they have shitty record deals. We had a shitty record deal. And the fact that you signed in 1999 when you were 18 and you had no money, that’s a lot different than all of a sudden the internet coming along, streaming services being born and you still make 24 cents on the dollar, and Spotify is paying what it pays.”

He adds, “But my biggest problem with Spotify is that they don’t share the data with the artist. Web3 takes care of this; you can take your data as an artist and go somewhere else. So I don’t hate Spotify, I just wish they’d share with us who our listeners are, and they don’t.”

Avenged Sevenfold released their most recent album, Life Is But A Dream… in 2023. They are playing a range of festivals this summer, and you can view all of their upcoming live shows now.

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