Stephen Street Accuses Thom Yorke of Hypocrisy Over Spotify Blackout
Thom Yorke has been criticized by British producer Stephen Street.
The British music producer Stephen Street, best known for his work with The Smiths in the 1980s and Blur in the 1990s, has weighed into the debate over Spotify's royalties model in the wake of Radiohead's Thom Yorke pulling his music from the streaming service. Currently, the web company - which offers 20 million songs - pays artists as little as 0.4p per stream. To put it into context, a song with one million plays would earn the artist £3,800.
It prompted Yorke and long-time producer Nigel Godrich to publically criticize Spotify on Twitter this week, with the Radiohead frontman pulling his solo work as well as his Atoms for Peace tracks from the service.
Godrich wrote: "We're off of Spotify. It's bad for new music. The reason is that new artists get paid f**k all with this model. It's an equation that just doesn't work."
Yorke added: "Make no mistake, new artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly be rolling in it. Simples."
Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples.— Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) July 14, 2013
The problem with Yorke's remarks lie quite clearly in Radiohead's decision to give away their 2007 album In Rainbows, which many suggested played a role in devaluing digital music. Street was one of the first to accuse the singer of hypocrisy on Monday, tweeting, "Bit rich coming from Thom Yorke that Spotify doesn't work for new artists. It's exactly what I said when Radiohead made their album available for free/ pay what you want a few years back," he explained, adding, "Suits superstars with 10 years of EMI investment behind them. It didn't help new upcoming artists at all. Gave the wrong message that music had no value. It's bitten you on the arse Thom!"
@MusicAlly bit rich coming from Thom Yorker that Spotify doesn't work for new artists. It's exactly what I said when Radiohead ...— Stephen Street (@StreetStephen) July 14, 2013
A spokesman for Spotify said, "We've already paid $500m to rightsholders so far and by the end of 2013 this number will reach $1bn. Much of this money is being invested in nurturing new talent and producing new great music."
Nevertheless, Atoms For Peace's AMOK (2013) and Yorke's solo album The Eraser (2006) has been removed from Spotify.
Thom Yorke Performing At Manchester Arena With Radiohead