Thom Yorke Yanks Music from Spotify

Continuing the international conversation about digital music, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and his Atoms in Peace cohort, Nigel Godrich, took to social media to call out Spotify this week. The gist of their bitching stems from the fact that the music service shortchanges up-and-coming artists.

"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 tweeted. "Meanwhile small labels and new artists can't even keep their lights on. It's just not right."

On average, Spotify tosses musicians (less than) pennies on the dollar in royalties for each time a particular song is played. For listeners, it's convenient as all hell, but the end result is an even more dramatic shift in the economics of the music business than ever before.

Last year, in this same vein, Galaxie 500's Damon Krukowski wrote: "Galaxie 500's 'Tugboat' was played 7,800 times on Pandora in the first quarter of 2012, for which its three songwriters were paid a collective total of 21 cents, or seven cents each."

Along with Radiohead, major bands like The Beatles, AC/DC and King Crimson do not have a presence on Spotify.

"...[W]e're standing up for our fellow musicians," Yorke tweeted.

Air your thoughts on the matter below in the comments section.


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Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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