Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has pulled both his solo songs and those made with group Atoms For Peace from music streaming service Spotify over the company's current royalties model. Yorke and his long-time producer Nigel Godrich took to Twitter this week to explain their reasoning for yanking the tracks.
"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."
He continued: "Streaming suits [back] catalogue. But [it] cannot work as a way of supporting new artists' work. Spotify and the like either have to address that fact and change the model for new releases or else all new music producers should be bold and vote with their feet. [Streaming services] have no power without new music."
Yorke - who re-tweeted Godrich's comments - met some initial opposition to his stance, with many pointing towards his decision to give away Radiohead's album In Rainbows for free, to those who didn't wish to pay. "For me In Rainbows was a statement of trust .people still value new music .that's all we'd like from Spotify. don't make us the target," he said, adding, "Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples."
Though Spotify's royalties method has been brought in questions on numerous occasions, many would argue the streaming service has kick-started an ailing music business that was seemingly on its knees three years ago. The company offers unlimited streaming for £10 a month, though for 1 million streams, artists are paid around £3,800, according to The Guardian. The singers, songwriters and bands must therefore weigh up the pros and cons of making their musical available to a huge audience for little reward. Artists with millions of streams are essentially generating free publicity, which may help with ticket sales etc, though new bands with a couple of thousands of streams are effectively giving away their music for nothing.
Watch Thom Yorke in the video for Radiohead's 'Creep':
"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," said Godrich, "Make no mistake. These are all the same old industry bods trying to get a stranglehold on the delivery system."
Last month, Pink Floyd made its back catalogue available on Spotify after fans streamed the song Wish You Were Here more than 1 million times. Songs by The Beatles and AC/DC are not available on Spotify.