Evan Greer released a captivating music video for “Surveillance Capitalism” with all the proceedings from the song donated to the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) to support the #JusticeAtSpotify campaign.
Released at the beginning of April, the video gives insight into Greer’s recent release and new album, Spotify is Surveillance. Out now via Get Better Records and Don Giovanni Records, Greer supports the campaign, and calls for better pay, end to Payola, and more transparency in the industry.
Greer says, “The fact that Spotify filed a patent for this type of emotional surveillance and manipulation is beyond chilling. It’s not enough for them to say that they have no plans to use this technology right now; they should publicly commit to never conducting this type of surveillance on music listeners. Surveillance capitalism as a business model is fundamentally incompatible with basic human rights and democracy, regardless of whether it’s being employed by Facebook, Amazon, or Spotify.
The song and video highlight the fact that the internet has the potential to profoundly transform our society for the better, abolishing false scarcity and enabling universal access to human knowledge and creativity while ensuring marginalized and independent artists and creators are fairly compensated for our labor. But, if we allow a small handful of companies to dominate the web and the music industry with a parasitic business model based on surveillance and exploitation, we’re headed for the opposite: a dystopian future where algorithms decide what we see and hear based on profit, rather than artistry.