Artists criticise Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s investment in AI defence tech

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“Fuck Spotify”

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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s investment in artificial intelligence defense technology has been met with backlash from artists and users on the streaming platform.

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One announced earlier this month that He was investing 100 million euros (£85.2 million) in the defense company Helsing. And he was joining the board.

Company plans to use artificial intelligence to support military in battlefield assessment tasks, reports mixmag,


AI software can explicitly identify patterns from cameras, thermal images, radar data, and information from other sensors to create a position picture that is as accurate as possible.

The deal angered artists including producer Darren Sangeeta, who wrote on Twitter: “#BoycottSPOTIFY now! Cancel your subscription today. Artists and music lovers shouldn’t be supporting the military #AI industry! Sponsored by Arms Corporations.” Register your anger at the #Spotify involvement. It’s so disgusting. Music isn’t war! Wrong on every level.”

Brooklyn-based jazz percussionist, tabla player and also composer Sameer Gupta canceled his Spotify subscription and deleted most of his music catalog upon hearing the news.

He encouraged others to do the same by offering a 95 percent discount on his “entire Bandcamp” to “anyone else who’s canceling their Spotify.”


Another artist in Italy, SprawlScape MegaDeck, was equally furious.

“Fuck Spotify,” he wrote, before adding: “I had 3 soundtracks ready for the ttrpg module sprawlscape. Just learned that the CEO has invested €100 million in an AI defense tech company. I close my account I need to find another way to distribute mixtapes. Pirate cassettes anyone? Vinyl DJ sets?

Several users also angrily welcomed the deal, writing: “Just canceled my
@Spotify subscription. The CEO has given €100m, which he gives to a military company using AI weapons from artists over the years. If I had the power to pull my music from those platforms I would. #boycottspotify.”

Another addition: “Long time @Spotify subscriber since 2007, canceled my subscription today because of this.”

Meanwhile, Spotify recently took a suggestion from Adele and changed its default setting, which shuffles album tracks in a random order.

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