Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has expressed an interest in buying Arsenal FC if it was ever to go up for sale.
It comes after thousands of angry fans amassed outside the club’s Emirates Stadium prior to its game against Everton on Friday (April 23) to protest its current owner, American billionaire Stan Kroenke.
Arsenal were one of six Premier League clubs that initially agreed to join a newly constructed European Super League, a breakaway competition designed at rivalling the Champions League. The controversial move was met with widespread criticism and protest from fans up and down the country. The club has since pulled out of the league.
Following the protests, Ek, who is reported to be worth in the region of $4.7billion, said he would be interested in buying the club if it ended up on the market.
“As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for @Arsenal as long as I can remember,” he wrote. “If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.”
As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for @Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.
— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) April 23, 2021
Many have taken to social media to respond to Ek’s tweet, including Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, who wrote: “Could we ask that you get things sorted out with musicians before jumping in with footballers??”
Could we ask that you get things sorted out with musicians before jumping in with footballers?? https://t.co/8IIghEZm4O
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) April 23, 2021
Continuing along the same lines as Burgess’ tweet, many users alluded to the criticism Spotify has faced in recent years that it doesn’t compensate artists enough for their work, even joking that Arsenal players wouldn’t accept being paid “0.000007p”.
“Nah fuck Spotify. Pay the artists first, then consider buying Arsenal,” one user said, while another wrote: “If the Spotify CEO buys Arsenal does that mean the players don’t get paid anymore?”
A third wrote: “Don’t think they’d accept 0.000007p mate.”
Nah fuck Spotify. Pay the artists first, then consider buying Arsenal.
— #KROENKEOUT (@MrSnrub28505684) April 23, 2021
If the Spotify CEO buys Arsenal does that mean the players don’t get paid anymore?
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) April 23, 2021
Don’t think they’d accept 0.000007p mate.
— Andy P (@ArcticReviews) April 23, 2021
Others looked at the bright side of Ek taking over ownership of Arsenal. Journalist Constantin Eckner tweeted: “Arsenal fans getting Spotify Premium for free!”
One fan said they would cancel their Apple Music subscription in favour of Spotify if Ek became owner in order to help fund transfers.
“The moment you buy Arsenal, I’m definitely canceling my Apple Music subscription and getting a Spotify one,” they wrote. “That way I know that my money is going to help sign Haaland and Mbapp.”
Arsenal fans getting Spotify Premium for free! https://t.co/7ZGjoyUxga
— Constantin Eckner (@cc_eckner) April 23, 2021
The moment you buy Arsenal, I’m definitely canceling my Apple Music subscription and getting a Spotify one. That way I know that my money is going to help sign Haaland and Mbappe 🔥🔥 https://t.co/bm9wUFDPk2
— A miracle walking✨ (@Godfrey__Tembo) April 23, 2021
See more reactions to Ek’s interest in taking over Arsenal below:
As a musician – I would like to warn people in football not to give you the chance of fucking up their entire industry as well … you’ve done enough damage to music already.
— John Spiers (@squeezyjohn) April 23, 2021
As a Spotify Premium member, I WILL be adding “Arsenal shareholder” to my bio like all the Real Oviedo crowd in 2012 https://t.co/dIXWIVLv40
— Paddy (@PaddyArsenal) April 23, 2021
Omg the owner of Spotify wants to bid for Arsenal ???
— Anita (@FLWN_) April 23, 2021
Spotify’s owner has tweeted suggesting he wants to buy Arsenal.
To be fair, the £0.0000006 he pays performers per play would still be generous for Willian. https://t.co/fNwUDfMXAJ
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) April 23, 2021
Arsenal fans listening to Spotify ads so we can fund Grealish in the summer. #KroenkeOut pic.twitter.com/eBDrdb7srw
— Cal 🔺 (@Arsecal) April 23, 2021
Maybe you should focus on paying musicians fairly first?
— Secret Drug Addict (@ScrtDrugAddict) April 23, 2021
But would you let the fans own the 51%?
— Moh Haider (@ArsenalMoh8) April 23, 2021
Spotify gonna buy Arsenal?
Players won’t like it when they get paid £0.000006 per match.
— arseblog (@arseblog) April 23, 2021
CEO of Spotify supports Arsenal
All of you with Apple Music know what to do
— viørel (@viorel433) April 23, 2021
Music to my ears
— P™ (@SemperFiArsenal) April 23, 2021
I’ll actually drop Apple Music and get Spotify if he buys us 😂
— KZ (@afcKZ_) April 23, 2021
Bro I’m begging you buy arsenal and I’ll PayPal you £1.50
— Luca (@lucasteer_) April 23, 2021
Spotify CEO after watching Arsenal vs Everton #ARSEVE pic.twitter.com/JAHIm3jkYC
— Akhil G (@akhilg06) April 23, 2021
Arsenal fans listening to music on Spotify: pic.twitter.com/moDsgKYBkg
— Nikhil Aradhe (@Arsenalbell97) April 24, 2021
Imagine the Spotify owner buying Arsenal the pre match music could be lit 🔥🔥🔥
— LJRC (@LiamCrook1) April 23, 2021
Spotify owner saw this and said fuck that I’m buying Arsenal pic.twitter.com/JnUn3z5KX3
— PME 🚭 (get KROENKE out) (@mariEscobarStan) April 23, 2021
[reading that the spotify man wants to buy arsenal football club]: im sure this time, this guy will turn out to be one of the Good Billionaires
— Stan Cross (@tristandross) April 23, 2021
Stream on Spotify lads, let’s pump this net worth https://t.co/8SMfvrJAG9
— Calum (@CalArsenal) April 23, 2021
Can’t wait for Arsenal to buy players based on players we have liked in the past. #spotify https://t.co/7mAYXdBHuc
— ◎ Phil Chambers ☀️ (@phil_chambers) April 23, 2021
Meanwhile, Apple Music has sent a letter to artists and labels saying that it now pays double what Spotify does per stream on average.
According to figures from last year, in the US Spotify paid $0.00437 per stream on average while Apple Music paid $0.00735 on average.
In the letter, which was sent to labels and publishers and posted on the platform’s artist dashboard, Apple Music said it now pays one cent per stream on average. However, it adds that rates vary according to subscription plans and the country listeners are streaming in.
Last year, musicians told MPs that streaming payments are “threatening the future of music” at the first evidence session for the economics of music streaming inquiry.
Speaking ahead of the inquiry, Department of Culture, Media And Sport Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said: “While streaming is a growing and important part of the music industry contributing billions to global wealth, its success cannot come at the expense of talented and lesser-known artists.
“We’re asking whether the business models used by major streaming platforms are fair to the writers and performers who provide the material. Longer-term we’re looking at whether the economics of streaming could in future limit the range of artists and music that we’re all able to enjoy today.”