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A screenshot of Stan Stewart's albums on a streaming platform

Open Letter to Deezer on the Advent of Track Removals

To: Stu Bergen, interim CEO (and whoever may follow you)
Deezer SA
Paris, France

My fans are concerned because they are seeing my tracks removed from their saves and playlists on Deezer. As you know only too well, this was not due to any action by me.

Instead, you have seen fit to begin pulling music from your platform. Though you used to brag that it was not your place to be music critics, you have now taken on that role.

I can only guess that you think your bottom line will be improved by removing tracks. It really doesn’t matter to you if they are AI-manufactured spew or art created by a flesh-and-blood musician. Some arbitrary statistics are what you will go by — as if that had anything to do with art and music.

Was I sad to learn than you had pulled the entire “Jaydn Suite” album that was inspired by my spouse? You bet I was. How about “Piano Plus Suite”? I didn’t realize how many super-fans I had on Deezer until you pulled that.

You might think I’m upset because I won’t get the pennies that might have been generated by fans playing those tracks. But that’s not it at all.

What’s really upsetting is that you upset my friend when you removed those tracks. As an unsigned artist, every fan or follower is a friend of mine. They are a member of the community that has formed around a common interest. And each one of them is dear to me. When you upset them, you upset me.

The Deezer about page says “…connecting fans with artists…” It seems that, for now, you should change that to “disconnecting fans from artists”.

So, if you’re worried about your bottom line, I don’t think this is the way to get good press. My hope is that every unsigned musician with a platform (blog, social media, letter to the editor, whatever) will also send you an open letter when they notice you’ve removed their tracks. Maybe then you’ll begin to see what you’ve actually done.

I hope all of the fans who are upset by these removals will also reach out to Deezer.

Stan Stewart
pianist, composer, and singer-songwriter

An open letter to Deezer on the advent of track removals
The second half of an open letter to Deezer

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