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Find out how much Spotify actually pays Taylor Swift and other top artists

Taylor Swift’s latest high-profile breakup was a change from the usual, being a global music streaming service rather than a tousle-haired pop star. Two weeks ago she pulled her music from Spotify, inspiring industry pundits to debate the sustainability of a platform that can’t hold onto its market’s biggest star of the moment and Spotify to make a very public plea for her to return.

The stated cause of the split was money, and specifically the relatively tiny amount of royalties that artists receive from Spotify plays versus other forms of media, a subject that’s irked other major pop stars like Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. In order to get some perspective on the situation, Time recently tabulated a list of the most-played artists on the service and did the math based off Spotify’s stated pay-out rates to estimate what sort of sums are in the balance. While it seems like Swift may be turning down more money per month than most people make in a lifetime, her people say she’s actually been paid considerably less.

Check out T-Swift’s numbers (and the rest of the top 20 most-played artists on Spotify) here.

Reviewing Thom Yorke's 'Tomorrow's Modern Boxes': A surprise delivery -- and a pretty great one

On Friday, Radiohead frontman and dance enthusiast Thom Yorke snuck up on the Internet and delivered another sonic sucker punch. Not only did he announce that he had completed a new solo album called Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, but that said album was already available via BitTorrent.

For a nominal fee of $6, hardcore fans were entitled to download a bundle that included all eight of the album’s tracks plus the unnerving music video for the track “A Brain in a Bottle”: READ FULL STORY

Thom Yorke announces new LP is now available via BitTorrent

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has released a new LP, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, and yet again he’s challenging norms of the music industry. In a press release, Yorke and longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich explained, “As an experiment we are using a new version of BitTorrent to distribute a new Thom Yorke record” as a method of “bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.”

Yorke and Godrich’s statement included some details about the BitTorrent technology:

The new Torrent files have a pay gate to access a bundle of files..
The files can be anything, but in this case is an ‘album’.
It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around …
If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work.
Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves.
Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.
If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done.
The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or ‘cloud’ malarkey.
It’s a self-contained embeddable shop front…
The network not only carries the traffic, it also hosts the file. The file is in the network.

The announcement comes after a week of Yorke-related speculation, fueled by tweets of mysterious white records and news that Radiohead was back in the studioTomorrow’s Modern Boxes will be Yorke’s first new music since 2013′s AMOK, by his Flea-featuring supergroup Atoms for Peace. Radiohead hasn’t put out a new record since 2011′s The King of Limbs.

Yorke’s BitTorrent experiment is just his latest attempt to reclaim some independence for musicians. In 2007, Radiohead famously released In Rainbows on the Internet with a pay-what-you-want scheme—which for many translated to a free record. Last year, Yorke pulled AMOK, as well as his only solo album, 2006′s The Eraser, from Spotify. “The reason is that new artists get paid f–k all with this model,” Atoms for Peace said in explanation. “It’s an equation that just doesn’t work.”

Get your digital hands on Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes for $6 here.

NME names Radiohead most influential act in music

Radiohead is the most influential artist in music today—at least according to readers who took NME’s recent poll.

The music publication narrowed a list down to 100 musicians who have had an impact on the way music is today, a list that puts R&B superstar Prince next to indie rockers Neutral Milk Hotel. Though NME’s most influential artists include huge names, like the aforementioned Prince and grunge rockers Nirvana, some notable bands are absent from the list: The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan didn’t make the cut.

READ FULL STORY

Radiohead drummer Philip Selway releases super-cool 'Coming Up for Air' video

Normally when the drummer for a rock band releases a solo record, there are exactly two kinds of people who care: the band’s most devoted fans, and the drummer’s closest family and friends. Given how proggy Radiohead’s gotten—and the fact that albums by drummers tend to be the most self-indulgent, “jazz odyssey” type of solo projects—it’s therefore a little surprising that “Coming Up for Air,” the lead single from drummer Philip Selway’s sophomore album, Weatherhouse, isn’t a six-part instrumental composition for gamelan in 5/18 time, or something. Instead, it’s a perfectly nice trip-hop-inflected pop song, with vocals and everything.

Just as cool as the song itself is its accompanying video, directed by the Spanish film collective NYSU. With its surreal imagery and overwhelming atmosphere of noirish paranoia, it’s like a collaboration between Rene Magritte and Alfred Hitchcock—albeit overlaid with the flattened look of a late-’70s cop show. READ FULL STORY

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

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

Frank Ocean and 12 other great Radiohead covers

At last week’s Spotify press conference – the one where Lars Ulrich revealed that Metallica’s full discography would be made available on the streaming service — Frank Ocean took the stage for a brief performance.

In the introduction to his own track, “Voodoo,” Ocean covered Radiohead’s 1995 classic “Fake Plastic Trees” –  watch the video (courtesy of Oh No They Didn’t) after the jump.

READ FULL STORY

Radiohead postpone tour dates in wake of Toronto stage collapse

Radiohead have been laying pretty low since last weekend’s stage collapse in Toronto that killed drum tech Scott Johnson and injured three others. But the band released a statement earlier today announcing that they would be postponing a handful of upcoming tour dates, though the reason has less to do with the ongoing investigation regarding the accident and more to do with the fact that their light show has been compromised.

“As you will probably have heard the roof over the stage collapsed at our show in Toronto killing crew member Scott Johnson and injuring three other crew members,” the band wrote in a statement. “The collapse also destroyed the light show — this show was unique and will take many weeks to replace. The collapse also caused serious damage to our backline, some elements of which are decades old and therefore hard to replace. Whilst we all are dealing with the grief and shock ensuing from this terrible accident there are also many practical considerations to deal with.”

The band postponed a total of seven shows in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. The band hopes to have new dates and information regarding those shows by June 27. Read the entirety of the statement below. READ FULL STORY

Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich talks new season of live-music show 'From the Basement'; watch an exclusive clip of the Shins here

A few years ago, Grammy-winning record producer and unofficial sixth Radiohead member Nigel Godrich was lamenting the lack of the great music-based television shows like The Old Grey Whistle Test as well as great experiments like The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. So he did something about it and created From the Basement, a series with a simple premise: Great bands performing killer songs in a small room with no audience.

“I think what happened was MTV came along in the ’80s and destroyed the way that people film music on television,” Godrich told EW via phone from London. “The performance ended up in the edit, and it wasn’t very direct. It’s a selfish thing, really—as a music fan, I really wanted to see people performing on television, so we went ahead and did it. Musicians hate doing TV because it’s such a different world and a horrible environment for them, so wouldn’t it be cool for me as a music person to do a TV show? Then I could get something out of them that TV shows wouldn’t get.”

The series has mostly existed online and on U.K. television, but the third season—premiering this summer—will be featured the 3D network 3net. That means that not only will you be able to experience dynamic performances by the likes of the Shins, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Feist, and Foster the People, but you’ll also be able to watch them in 3D

“I was quite cynical about it when it was suggested to me,” Godrich admitted of the introduction of 3D. “I’m very careful about anything that seems like a gimmick, but the technology is so good and it looks so amazing. When you see a photograph of an Impressionist painting, it doesn’t really make sense until you go to France and stand in the museum and watch this thing vibrate in front of your face. It really is another level of intimacy, and it really translates in a really sophisticated way.”

Of course, those not equipped to view things in three dimensions won’t be left out in the cold, as From the Basement will be available on Crackle, which is available on a bunch of different smartphones as well as video game systems. That will let you catch stuff like the Shins performing “Bait and Switch,” which you can watch in the exclusive clip below.  READ FULL STORY

Update: Radiohead drum technician identified as stage collapse victim

A drum technician for Radiohead has been identified as the victim of Saturday’s stage collapse at Downsview Field in Toronto. The band posted a tribute to the victim, Scott Johnson, on their official web site Sunday.

Drummer Philip Selway wrote:

We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague. He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew. We will miss him very much. Our thoughts and love are with Scott’s family and all those close to him.

Three others were injured in the collapse. The concert was canceled and the band said that ticket holders would be refunded.

Read more:
Radiohead stage collapse kills one, injures three before Toronto show

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