Spotify is all the rage at the moment, but according to Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, the streaming service is not good for musicians—at least not when it comes to new music. Things got rolling yesterday, when producer Nigel Godrich started tweeting against Spotify. Then Yorke picked up the cry, and pulled all his solo music and the music of his band Atoms For Peace from the service. The crux of Godrich's argument (typos his), much of which was re-tweeted by Yorke:
- Godrich: "It's bad for new music. ... The reason is that new artists get paid f--- all with this model.. Millions of streams gets them a few thousand dollars.. Not like radio at all. ... Pink floyds catalogue has already generated billions of dollars for someone(not necessarily the band) so now putting it on a streaming site makes total sense.. But if people had been listening to spotify instead of buying records in 1973... I doubt very much if dark side would have been made.. It would just be too expensive. ... streaming suits catalogue.. But cannot work as a way of supporting new artists work."
Yorke added (typos his, too): "Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples." The Guardian does the math: Spotify would pay an artist just over $5,700 for a song that managed to get one million streams (and most don't get near that many). Spotify responded, pointing out that Yorke's music can still be streamed on YouTube and offering up a statement: "Spotify's goal is to grow a service which people love, ultimately want to pay for [unlimited streaming requires a paid subscription], and which will provide the financial support to the music industry necessary to invest in new talent and music."