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Godrich and Yorke reignite Spotify debate

By | Published on Monday 15 July 2013

Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich

After weeks of high profile Pandora-bashing by the artist and wider music community in the good old US of A, the spotlight was thrown back onto its rival Spotify here in the UK yesterday after Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich both took to the net to formally express displeasure in the all-you-can-eat streaming business model.

And to prove their point they announced that their respective solo albums, and the long-player from their collaborative venture Atoms For Peace, had all been removed from Europe’s highest profile streaming service.

Announcing what he dubbed as a “small meaningless rebellion”, producer Godrich said via a string of tweets: “We’re off of Spotify. Can’t do that no more man. Someone gotta say something. It’s bad for new music. The reason is that new artists get paid fuck all with this model. It’s an equation that just doesn’t work”.

Although targeted specifically at Spotify, Godrich – and later Yorke – seem to be expressing concerns about the wider emerging streaming market which, they seem to reckon, has become too quickly controlled by a small number of tech start ups and the bigger labels. Labels which, they might argue, exploited their massive catalogues to encourage a business model that most suited, well, big labels with massive catalogues.

Godrich continued: “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”.

He went on: “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. Anyway, thems the breaks. Opinions welcome, but discussion and new thinking necessary”.

Joining in the online debate Godrich’s announcement initiated, Yorke added: “Make no mistake, new artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid; meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples”. While, noting the response ‘your small meaningless rebellion is only hurting your fans … a drop in the bucket really’, he continued: “No, we’re standing up for our fellow musicians”.