Music Wars: Radiohead/Atoms For Peace Yorke & Godrich Versus Spotify

Thom Yorke

Above, Yorke indicates how much money he is getting from Spotify… and how much he cares about said consumers’ access to his music.

 By Fred Mills

In the latest salvo of artists and labels against online music services, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, along with the band’s longtime collaborator and producer, Nigel Godrich, has taken subscription streaming outlet Spotify to tasks for not paying artists enough.

As Pitchfork reports, “In a series of tweets, Godrich explained that the move is in protest of Spotify’s business model. ‘The reason is that new artists get paid fuck all with this model. It’s an equation that just doesn’t work,’ he writes. Yorke added, ‘Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will not get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples.’”

Pitchfork also published more of Godrich’s comments (which, let’s be frank, would be more useful if they cited specific stats and dollar figures). It appears this is going to turn into one big Artists Vs. Them, recently and famously given additional prominence by Camper Van Beethoven’s David Lowery in an anti-Pandora screed (Lowery, we should note, did cite stats and figures although his calculations were subsequently refuted as fuzzy math by outside sources).

Godrich: “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..

“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. 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.

“If people had been listening to spotify instead of buying records in 1973… I doubt very much if [Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon] would have been made.. It would just be too expensive.”

Uh-huh. Carry on, mates.


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