Thom Yorke has once again shared his concerns about the way Spotify pays musicians.
Since then, Radiohead’s music has gradually made its way back to the streaming service. Earlier this month, it was finally joined by Yorke’s two solo records (2006’s ‘The Eraser’ and 2014’s ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’), along with Atoms For Peace‘s 2013 album ‘AMOK’.
However, Yorke still appears to be troubled by the streaming platform’s remuneration structure. On Wednesday (December 27), he posted a tweet drawing his followers’ attention to a thread about Spotify by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow.
i refer you, ladies and gentlemen, to the comments below …. without further comment 🙏😔 https://t.co/rw3mNt9epG
— Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) December 28, 2017
Barrow began his thread by tweeting: “Ok quick question for musicians. How many of you have personally made more than £500 from @Spotify”
Responding to songwriter Daniel Broadley, who said Spotify can be a good earner if artists have songs that “are very easy to place in genre specific playlists”, Barrow replied: “Yes definitely if you work the system well It can make a living. My issue is that for the bands that aren’t like that it’s almost impossible to make a living as most deals include Spotify.”
The thread also included comments from singer-songwriter LoneLady, who lamented the fact that Spotify has “normalised the idea of not paying for music.”
“Spotify etc. are creating a landscape in which only well-off people will be able to make music & attempt a career out of it,” she warned.
Spotify etc has burrowed its way into people’s lives, normalising the idea of not paying for music. It isn’t free to make music, gig, run a studio and so on. Spotify etc are creating a landscape in which only well-off people will be able to make music & attempt a career out of it
— LoneLady (@LoneLadyHQ) December 27, 2017
Back in 2013, Yorke said: “I feel like as musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing. I feel that in some ways what’s happening in the mainstream is the last gasp of the old industry. Once that does finally die, which it will, something else will happen. But it’s all about how we change the way we listen to music, it’s all about what happens next in terms of technology, in terms of how people talk to each other about music, and a lot of it could be really fucking bad. I don’t subscribe to the whole thing that a lot of people do within the music industry that’s ‘well this is all we’ve got left. we’ll just have to do this.’ I just don’t agree.”
Yorke went on to add: “When we did the ‘In Rainbows’ thing what was most exciting was the idea you could have a direct connection between you as a musician and your audience. You cut all of it out, it’s just that and that. And then all these fuckers get in a way, like Spotify suddenly trying to become the gatekeepers to the whole process. We don’t need you to do it. No artists needs you to do it. We can build the shit ourselves, so fuck off. But because they’re using old music, because they’re using the majors… the majors are all over it because they see a way of re-selling all their old stuff for free, make a fortune, and not die. That’s why to me, Spotify the whole thing, is such a massive battle, because it’s about the future of all music. It’s about whether we believe there’s a future in music”.
He concluded: “To me this isn’t the mainstream, this is is like the last fart, the last desperate fart of a dying corpse. What happens next is the important part.”