Lots of musicians—notably Thom Yorke of Radiohead—hate Spotify because it pays out a tiny fraction of a cent for every track played. But now a funk band out of Ann Arbor called Vulfpeck has come up with what Quartz calls an "ingeniously simple" way to actually make some money off the online streaming service. The group has put out a new album called Sleepify that consists of 10 tracks of absolute silence. Vulfpeck asks fans to stream the album overnight while they sleep, on repeat, figuring it could make about $4 per listener per night. The band promises to use the money for a fall tour in which shows would be free.
Guardian music blogger Tim Jonze does some more math and observes that diligent fans could join together to help their favorite groups "make a load of money from this scheme." (Jonze also reviews the album in tongue-in-cheek fashion: "Opening track 'Z' certainly sets the tone, a subtle, intriguing work that teases the listener as to what may come next.") At Businessweek, Joshua Brustein is impressed. "It’s an ingenious publicity stunt and, if you squint hard enough, a commentary on the way music is valued in the digital age." Spotify, meanwhile, seems to be taking it in good spirit, with a spokesperson calling it a "clever stunt." As of now, the company doesn't plan to crack down on the musical silence. (Click to read about how YouTube is planning a service to rival Spotify.)