Influential rocker dumps Spotify service, blasts it for milking musicians

The funds for today's free and low-priced digital content come from artists' and writers' pockets. Enough, says one. Pay me my money down!
Written by Mark Halper, Contributor
Pay me my money down. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke says Spotify is taking advantage of artists.


In case you're wondering who pays for all of the Internet's free and low-priced digital content that you read and listen to all the time, let me provide a clue: The content's creators make a huge contribution.

Writers, musicians and artists of all sorts give up a lot more blood than they used to in the pre-Web days in order to publish and distribute their works. In case I'm being too cryptic: They often get paid diddly squat.

One influential rocker has had enough. Thom Yorke, the frontman of British rock band Radiohead, this morning dumped the popular music streaming service Spotify and blasted it on Twitter for taking too large a slice of the revenue pie.

"New artists you discover on Spotify will no get paid," he tweeted. "Meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it."

Yorke removed his solo record The Eraser and also yanked music he has made with another band, called Atoms for Peace, the BBC reported.

Ironically, Radiohead pioneered a digital business model in 2007 when it sold an album for whatever price a consumer was willing to pay.

Although Radiohead continues to use Spotify, Atoms for Peace is clearly no fan.

"We're off Spotify," tweeted Atoms for Peace producer Nigel Godrich, as reported by The Independent. "It's bad for new music...The reason is that new artists get paid f*** all with this model. Small labels and and new artists can't even keep their lights on."

Spotify told the BBC that it is "100 percent committed to making Spotify the most artist-friendly music service possible."

Legendary band Pink Floyd recently posted an editorial against unfair royalties proposed by music service Pandora.

Artists and writers the world over, it seems, are rebelling against working for a song. If there were a sound track for this movement, it could well be the classic tune, Pay Me My Money Down.

Photo of Thom Yorke from anyonlinyr via Wikimedia

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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