“Streaming has changed what artists feel like they should release”: James Blake further justifies his new streaming platform, Vault

Blake announced Vault’s launch a week ago.

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James Blake performing live

Credit: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images

It’s been a week or so since James Blake launched Vault, a direct artist-to-fan streaming platform for unreleased music. Artists upload unreleased music, and fans pay a monthly subscription fee as set by the artist.

And yesterday, Blake took to X, formerly Twitter, to further explain his thoughts on streaming. In reply to music critic and YouTuber Anthony Fantano, he wrote, “Streaming has changed what artists feel like they should release. It favours certain structures, certain genres, certain artistic decisions. I regularly see artists pick an inferior song to make the album because the one they love isn’t streaming-friendly. I’ve struggled with it myself.”

Fantano was discussing quotes from rapper ScHoolboy Q, in which he said that streaming devalues the art of making complete albums, meaning that artists are more likely to aim to make one-off, standalone hit songs rather than coherent records.

Despite the platform still being in its infancy, Vault has already been dividing opinion. To Blake’s post, a fan said, “It’s great to see artists like yourself taking a stance in this and creating new solutions. I don’t know what will work in the future, but I feel this is a step in the right direction, hope more artists take it.”

Meanwhile, the Italian musician Kisnou also replied to Blake, saying, “James, I loved your first thoughts about the music industry and how it is not paying us enough, but I honestly think that Vault is just pushing on listeners. We need to put pressure on Spotify (and co.) to pay us fairly.”

Fantano doesn’t seem convinced, either, sharing a YouTube video entitled, simply, ‘This Is Silly.’

Vault’s arrival came after Blake hinted that he’d “landed on a nice solution” to issues surrounding artists getting paid for their music earlier this month, something that he’s been quite vocal about of late.

And earlier this week, he said that record labels should be required to provide their artists with therapists as part of their duty of care, sharing a post from a fellow X user who argued that finding a therapist should be a priority before finding an agent or manager.

For more information, head to Vault.fm.


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