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Thom Yorke and Atoms for Peace bandmate, Nigel Godrich (6th member of Radiohead), announced that they took their music off Spotify via twitter stating, “it’s bad for new music,” and “the numbers don’t even add up from Spotify yet.” Atoms for Peace’s debut album, AMOK, Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser, and the self-titled record from Godrich’s project Ultraista were all removed from Spotify, thus joining the growing group of musicians not on the online streaming service. Music you also cannot find on Spotify include The Black Keys’ El Camino, Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto, and Adele’s 21.
Yorke also commented that, “artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly be rolling in it.”
The super producer went on a long-winded rant this past Sunday:
“Anyway. Here’s one. We’re off of Spotify. Can’t do that no more man. Small meaningless rebellion. Someone gotta say something. It’s bad for new music. This is just Eraser and Amok and Ultraista…The music industry is being taken over by the back door and if we don’t try and make it fair for new music producers and artists then the art will suffer. Make no mistake. These are all the same old industry bods trying to get a stranglehold on the delivery system… It’s about establishing the model which will be extremely valuable. Meanwhile small labels and new artists can’t even keep their lights on. It’s just not right. Plus people are scared to speak up or not take part as they are told they will lose invaluable exposure if they don’t play ball. Meanwhile millions of streams gets them a few thousand dollars. Not like radio at all… If you have a massive catalogue – a major label for example then you’re quids in. It’s money for old rope. But making new recorded music needs funding. Some records can be made in a laptop, but some need musician and skilled technicians…Pink Floyd’s catalogue has already generated billions of dollars for someone (not necessarily the band) so now putting it on a streaming site makes total sense. But if people had been listening to Spotify instead of buying records in 1973 I doubt very much if Dark Side would have been made. It would just be too expensive. Anyway thumbs hurting now… ”
A representative from Spotify then responded with a short statement about how they’re still a growing company and are working on ways to expand their reach. The same spokesperson said the money they are investing in getting licensing rights from rights-holders is being funneled into nurturing new talent and helping build careers for them. To which Godrich retorded, “I’m not b**ching about not getting paid. It’s about standing up for other artists’ rights.”
For bigger, more established artists, not releasing their album for digital streaming might not have that much affect their sales. However, sites and services like Spotify, Rdio, and Pandora offer many opportunities for new artists to showcase their work and allow potential fans to sample their music before buying their music, purchasing a ticket to see them live or other merchandise.
When someone pointed out that In Rainbows was released as a ‘pay what you want’ kind of deal, Yorke tweeted, “for me In Rainbows was a statement of trust .people still value new music ..that’s all we’d like from Spotify…”