Artists yank music from Spotify, attacks streaming service

Caitlin McClure Contributor
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Music producer Nigel Godrich and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke launched a “small meaningless rebellion” against Spotify over Twitter Sunday, announcing they would be pulling their collaboration album “Atoms for Peace” from the music services’ catalog.

Godrich tweeted on Sunday, “new artists get paid fuck all with this model…it’s an equation that just doesn’t work.”

“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,” Godrich wrote.

“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.”

Yorke wrote: “Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no [sic] get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples.”

Spotify responded to the attacks on its model, noting the company is “in the early stages of a long-term project” and that it is committed to being “artist friendly.”

“Spotify’s goal is to grow a service which people love, ultimately want to pay for, and which will provide the financial support to the music industry necessary to invest in new talent and music. We want to help artists connect with their fans, find new audiences, grow their fan base and make a living from the music we all love,” the company said in a statement Monday morning.

“We’ve already paid $500 million to rightsholders so far and by the end of 2013 this number will reach $1 billion. Much of this money is being invested in nurturing new talent and producing great new music,” the statement read.

On Twitter Monday, Godrich challenged the company’s claims of generating $500 million dollars for “license holders,” asserting that the model favors large label companies with big catalogs, while leaving new artists in the dust.

“I feel a responsibility to speak up when I see something going on which I think is unfair. I’m not bitching about not getting paid. It’s about standing up for other artists rights. It’s up to streaming providers to come back with a better way of supporting new music producers,” Godrich tweeted.

As Spotify continues to grow its 24 million active user base and becomes more mainstream, it will continue to bring on more major musicians.

However, small players are increasingly vocal about their dissatisfaction with Spotify and other music services such as Pandora, which are trying out new models.

Godrich challenges companies like Spotify to adapt: “It’s up to streaming providers to come back with a better way of supporting new music producers. It’s not for us to think up how it could work.. That’s your department. Over.”

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Caitlin McClure