Atoms for Peace: 'The Big Labels Did Secret Deals With Spotify'

Producer Nigel Godrich has expanded on band's anti-Spotify protest from yesterday, defending their decision to remove the Atoms for Peace album from streaming services.

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Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich has expanded on his anti-Spotify rant yesterday which saw him and Thom Yorke remove their Atoms for Peace album "Amok" from streaming platforms in protest.

Yesterday they warned that streaming was bad for new artists, but they faced a backlash from some quarters who say that streaming remains the only serious option after the piracy era.

"I'm not bitching about not getting paid. It's about standing up for other artists rights," said Godrich in response to his critics (via NME).

He continued: "the way that spotify works is that the money is divided up by percentage of total streams. big labels have massive back catalogues so their 40 year old record by a dead artist earns them the same slice of the pie as a brand new track by a new artist.

"The big labels did secret deals with Spotify and the like in return for favourable royalty rates. The massive amount of catalogue being streamed guarantees that they get the big massive slice of the pie (that $500 million) and the smaller producers and labels get pittance for their comparatively few streams. This is whats wrong."

Spotify have responded to the protest, where Yorke and Godrich also removed other albums from their back catalogue, with this statement:

"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."

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'd love some proof on either side's part to be honest. I'm not going to believe Yorke and Godrich's word just because they aren't the corporation in this, and it's apparently the cool thing to believe whatever Thom Yorke says. It's a bold claim they're making, they should be backing it up.
    "The big labels did secret deals with Spotify and the like in return for favourable royalty rates." If it's 'secret', then how did he find out about it? It sounds like a lot of speculation, and we get quite enough of that here.
    Why should "new music" be paid more than "old music"? It's still the same; "music"... Spotify is a great way to get attention by a large(r) groupe of people.
    because the rate per play for the old songs is better than for the new songs, that is what he implied
    I wrote a brief blog about the whole Spotify news thing yesterday. Wish I had this info at the time! Please check it out at =]
    its shouldn't be up to spotify to gain listeners for new bands that want to stream on the platform. That should be any new bands priority if they are on the platform. Don't blame spotify if nobody is listening and your not getting paid. its up to the band to spread the word to listen on the platform.
    The point is they aren't paid enough per stream. A band needs *millions* of streams per month to earn the US minimum wage.