Radiohead crooner Thom Yorke has reportedly removed his solo music and that of his side project Atoms For Peace from music streaming site Spotify. The row highlights the collision between new models of listening to music created by streaming as the industry tries to find methods of dissuading fans from using illicit services to download songs for free without paying the artists.
Yorke believes the system only suits back catalogues or rather artists that are already established in the music industry, as they are the only ones able to make a profit.
Spotify offers a limited free streaming service, and an unlimited service at the price of £5 and £10 a month. But some artists have complained that this system is bringing in less revenue for them than selling CDs and digital downloads because the per-stream payments are tiny in comparison.
The service offers slightly less than 0.4p a stream – meaning that 1m streams of a song would generate about £3,800. Most songs receive far fewer streams.
“The numbers don’t even add up for Spotify yet. But it’s not about that. It’s about establishing the model which will be extremely valuable,” Godrich, who has produced albums for the likes of Radiohead and Paul McCartney, tweeted.
A Spotify spokesperson later replied “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 $500m (£332m) to rights holders so far and by the end of 2013 this number will reach $1bn. Much of this money is being invested in nurturing new talent and producing great new music”.
Yorke has made his thoughts clear. “Make no mistake, new artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly be rolling in it. Simples,” he tweeted.
Spotify has been having notable success getting some established bands to make their music available on its service: Daft Punk’s Get Lucky rapidly became one of the most-streamed songs ever.
Last month, Pink Floyd made its back catalogue available on Spotify after fans streamed the song Wish You Were Here more than 1m times. However music from esteemed groups such as the Beatles, Oasis and AC/DC is not available on Spotify and other big names such as Led Zeppelin and King Crimson have refused to put their music on any streaming services.
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