Radiohead's Thom Yorke angry about Spotify compensation, pulls music from streaming service

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Image Credit: Peter Wafzig/Redferns via Getty Images

Another day, another English musician getting upset over his compensation from a streaming service.

Following in the footsteps of the gentlemen from Pink Floyd, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke took umbrage with the amount of money paid to artists who allow their music on Spotify. “Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no get paid,” Yorke tweeted. “Meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples.”

Yorke engaged in a Twitter exchange with his longtime producer and collaborator Nigel Godrich, who tweeted, “We’re off of Spotify. Can’t do that no more man. Small meaningless rebellion.”

That means that Spotify customers can no longer stream Yorke’s 2006 solo album The Eraser, the first album from Godrich’s Ultraista project, or the Atoms For Peace album Amok. “The reason is that new artists get paid f— all with this model. It’s an equation that just doesn’t work,” Godrich wrote on Twitter. “Meanwhile small labels and new artists can’t even keep their lights on. It’s just not right.”

More and more musicians have been speaking up about streaming services, who continually swear that their compensation packages are fair. In the eyes of Yorke and Godrich, services like Spotify (or Pandora, another frequent adversary of musicians) devalue the product created by artists.

Yorke drove that point home in his most recent tweet: “For me In Rainbows was a statement of trust. People still value new music,” he wrote, referencing the album his band released as a pay-what-you-want download back in 2007. “That’s all we’d like from Spotify. Don’t make us the target.”

UPDATE: Spotify released a statement in response to Yorke and Godrich’s tweets:

“Spotify’s 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,” a company spokesperson said today.

“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.

“Right now we’re still in the early stages of a long-term project that’s already having a hugely positive effect on artists and new music. We’ve already paid US$500M to rightsholders so far and by the end of 2013 this number will reach US$1bn. Much of this money is being invested in nurturing new talent and producing great new music.

“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.”

What do you think? What will the tipping point be for Spotify and other streaming services? Do you believe there is a way for everybody to be fairly compensated while still delivering the same service?

Read More on EW.com:
Reassessing Radiohead
Pink Floyd writes an open letter on streaming services titled ‘Pandora’s Internet radio royalty ripoff’
Daft Punk breaks Spotify record, beat previous Mumford record


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