First off, let’s start off with an example of the kind of abuse that hard working musical service providers have to endure while working on SoundBetter (while the Spotify / SoundBetter staff does nothing to stop it). Here are screenshots of an active client on SoundBetter who deleted his abusive public comments off of the SoundBetter Facebook page (but I took a screenshot of them before he deleted them). He calls me a “mental tart”and more:
With that said, the SoundBetter platform is unusable and uncomfortable for many prominent artists because the man who created it set an abusive tone right off the bat with his FAQ and his terms. There is no other way to put it — the creator set the precedent and the precedent ruins the platform for anyone who is professional enough to have fans. Anyone who garners fans will also garner the jealous ones, the stalkers, the haters, the whatever-you-want-to-call-it-ers, and more, and that means that without protection, the professional will not be protected, and that is not conducive, nor does it align with, the idea that SoundBetter is a good platform for professional musicians when it clearly is not. And this of course is not only limited to artists in the spotlight. SoundBetter could have been a good platform for musicians if only the platform had a little thing called empathy. The creator and empathy and SoundBetter are not good friends, and if you leave it up to him, things will never change. And that is sad.
To top it all off, now Spotify has joined the I-dont-actually-care-about-artists-enough-to-protect-them-in-a-reasonable-fashion party. In other words, Spotify now OWNS SoundBetter. And they STILL don’t care. And they raised their price to 59 a month.
There are people in this world who genuinely do not care about the well being of others. They only care for themselves and they rationalize away all of their guilt and shame.
“We make no representations, offer no assurances, and do not investigate any of our Users’ backgrounds, morality, character, skills, or capabilities, and you hereby acknowledge that you assume the risk of any encounter or interaction with such persons.” — SoundBetter Terms & Conditions
But at the end of the day, the creator received the ‘what-the-heck-is-this-i-dont-like-this’ message from his providers a very very very long time ago. The only problem is, he seemed to think that he was rather smart for ignoring it all the way to the bank. I can almost hear him lightly chuckle as he smirks into his heaping pile of soul-money. (Soul-money: like blood money, only instead of blood, they take your soul).
Sadly what he failed to understand is that he could have made it to the bank either way. But one more penny is more important to this person than knowing that someone out there is going to be okay because they aren’t going to be needlessly tortured that day by someone else out there in the faceless abyss on SoundBetter.
And you know why no one says anything altogether as one so the madness can finally end? This is why:
“CLASS ACTION WAIVER
You agree that any arbitration or proceeding shall be limited to the Dispute between us and you individually. To the full extent permitted by law, (i) no arbitration or proceeding shall be joined with any other; (ii) there is no right or authority for any Dispute to be arbitrated or resolved on a class action-basis or to utilize class action procedures; and (iii) there is no right or authority for any Dispute to be brought in a purported representative capacity on behalf of the general public or any other persons. YOU AGREE THAT YOU MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST US ONLY IN YOUR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING.” — SoundBetter Terms & Conditions
As you can see, I am here to say what a group of professional musicians will never be allowed to say to SoundBetter in a court setting, and that is this. This world is filled with a plethora of subjectivities, misunderstandings, sagas, back and forths, mismatches, double truths, paradoxes, and all of that jazz. But you cannot rationalize abuse. It is that simple. You cannot rationalize abuse.
You can only look the other way and simultaneously wonder why our world is so thickened with this cold, careless, inhumane, muck. But that muck sinks into your skin. It infects every pore, and so you can rationalize it away all day, but there is still a thin skin of muck there — a thin screen that you feel. That is how it feels to ignore the painful truth, and that is how it feels to have your life invaded by a job that is needlessly tormenting. The muck invades both the innocent and the guilty because no one is there to say “Is this where the madness ends”?
Well is it?
There is already too much trauma in this world. Too much pain, too much misfortune, too much unfairness going on! Is it really necessary that Spotify’s SoundBetter is also part of the reason why our world is so full of abusive people who bark out “you’re just too sensitive” all the time to anyone who doesn’t want to be harshly maltreated for no good reason while on the job?
Oh but wait, I’m sorry. We don’t classify as being employees or contractors on SoundBetter even if we are premium providers who are capable of making a full time income. We would have too many rights if that were the case, and SoundBetter can’t have that. See here:
You are not, and shall not present yourself as, an employee, contractor, or agent of SoundBetter, or that you are in any way affiliated with SoundBetter, in any capacity (whether on business cards, social-media, or on any other websites or media).” — SoundBetter Terms & Conditions
Now listen, we artists are sensitive for sure! How else would we create music otherwise? But that’s not the issue here. The issue is that abusive people say their victims are “too sensitive” all the time, and SoundBetter’s too busy pretending that the abuse they manifest does not exist!
Meanwhile, SoundBetter manifests abuse that would otherwise never have existed because their language sets a toxic precedent right off the bat — just take a look at their FAQ for example. Look at the article in their FAQ called “What Can I Do To Maximize Success With Clients & Get Good Reviews?”, and you will see a very warped, accusatory, anti-provider tone.
While you were looking that up (if you chose to, that is), some random toxic user out there just checked the terms and became emboldened and fermented in their own poison. You see, everyone is too afraid to mention this harsh reality, but not mentioning it won’t change anything, and mentioning it won’t change the fact that the first thing that abusive people do when they want to abuse is check the terms and see how much they can get away with!
Why is it so hard for Spotify & SoundBetter to understand this? They will make less money in the long run by continuing to pummel their socially inept choices down our throats! And they just don’t get it. In the long run, the ones who really succeed are the ones who care for the people. Unlike SoundBetter, they won’t just leave their people alone in the woods! Unlike SoundBetter, they won’t just look the other way! Unlike SoundBetter, they’ll look evil in the face and tell it to go back to where it came from!
You cannot have stars on a website and then refuse to protect them. That literally makes no sense!
Shame on Shachar!
SoundBetter should KnowBetter!
And Spotify should know better too!
In conclusion, this song is dedicated to Shachar Gilad and Spotify’s SoundBetter: