Fans will no longer be able to listen to Atoms For Peace’s album, Amok, on Spotify. Thom Yorke and his Atoms for Peace collaborator, producer Nigel Godrich, decided to pull their music from the streaming music service as a way to bring light to what they feel is Spotify’s flawed business model.
The two took to Twitter yesterday (July 12) to discuss what they called a “small meaningless rebellion,” writing that they removed their catalogues, which also will include Yorke’s 2006 solo album, The Eraser and Godrich’s own band, Ultraísta (though Radiohead albums are still currently available to stream), as a way to support new artists.
Godrich let his followers know that Spotify is not good for new artists, sharing his opinion in multiple tweets through the night.
“New artists get paid f*** all with this model.. It’s an equation that just doesn’t work,” he wrote.
Meanwhile small labels and new artists can’t even keep their lights on. It’s just not right
— nigel godrich (@nigelgod) July 14, 2013
Later adding, “The music industry is being taken over by the back door.. and if we don’t try and make it fair for new music producers and artists… then the art will suffer. Make no mistake. These are all the same old industry bods trying to get a stranglehold on the delivery system.” Yorke later joined in, letting fans know that when they listen to new music, those artists are seeing very little revenue in comparison to those who have business connections to the site.
Hours after Yorke and Godrich’s rant, Spotify released an official statement (via Music Week) that defended their revenue plan, explaining that their goal is to “grow a service which people love, ultimately want to pay for, and which will provide the financial support to the music industry necessary to invest in new talent and music.” On their site, Spotify explain that they pay out “the majority (approaching 70%) of ALL of our revenue (advertising and subscription fees) to rights holders: artists, labels, publishers, and performing rights societies (e.g. ASCAP, BMI, etc.).” Though they do not disclose how exactly that breaks down for artists, they say they “pay out approximately 2% of our gross royalties for an artist whose music represents approximately 2% of what our users stream.” The industry average, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is slightly less than 0.6 cents a stream – meaning that one million streams of a song would generate about $5,70o. In just the three years since they launched, Spotify says they have paid out “over $500 million in royalties.”
“We want to help artists connect with their fans, find new audiences, grow their fan base and make a living from the music we all love,” the statement reads.
Spotify admits that they are still in the early stages of “a long-term project that’s already having a hugely positive effect on artists and new music,” and that the money they do make is being “invested in nurturing new talent and producing great new music.” They ended their statement by saying, “We’re 100% committed to making Spotify the most artist-friendly music service possible, and are constantly talking to artists and managers about how Spotify can help build their careers.”
This morning, Godrich continued his rant sending out a total of 18 tweets in a matter of six minutes breaking down stating why once again he felt he should speak up about the current state of things.
I feel a responsibility to speak up when I see something going on which I think is unfair. I’m not bitching about not getting paid. — nigel godrich (@nigelgod) July 15, 2013
But as much as Godrich wants to see things change, he believes Spotify has to be the one to do it.
It’s not for us to think up how it could work.. That’s your department. Over.. That’s all I gotta say really. Sorry for the rant.
— nigel godrich (@nigelgod) July 15, 2013
In the end, Yorke says his decision was all about supporting new artists, something he wishes Spotify would do also.
“For me In Rainbows was a statement of trust..people still value new music,” he tweeted. “That’s all we’d like from Spotify. don’t make us the target.”