Garth Brooks is one of the most successful musicians of all time. He has the most diamond-certified albums ever with nine (The Beatles are in second with six). His Garth Brooks World Tour that concluded in 2017 sold 6.3 million tickets, the most ever for a North American tour. He’s also the best-selling solo artist in history when it comes to RIAA certifications. If you want to stream his music, though, you’re out of luck if you use Spotify, Apple Music, or any other platform besides Amazon Music.
In 2016, he signed an exclusive deal with Amazon to bring his music to streaming. Now, he has elaborated on what he saw in Amazon that he didn’t in other services.
As Digital Music News reports, at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville yesterday (March 13), Brooks said that it has to do with Amazon’s ability to sell physical releases of albums and how that benefits songwriters like himself:
“The fact is that Amazon is a retailer as well. 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, OK? 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.”
Given Brooks’ popularity, other platforms have tried to lure him. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek once even had a meeting with Brooks to try to get him on board. In 2017, Brooks said of Spotify and Apple Music:
“Spotify came in, Daniel Ek came down to sit with me, sweet man, I love Daniel, great guy. 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 percent 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.”