If you want to listen to Atoms For Peace, you can’t anymore on Spotify.
In a string of tweets today from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich, both members of the group Atoms For Peace, the two revealed that their album AMOK as well as Yorke’s solo album The Eraser and Godrich’s band Ultraista's self-titled album have been removed from the streaming service.
Dubbed by Godrich as a “small meaningless rebellion,” his tweets called out Spotify as “bad for music,” adding “new artists get paid f*ck all with this model.”
Yorke and Godrich join a growing list of artists who have publicly removed their content from the service, including Aimee Mann and Galaxie 500’s Damon Krukowski. UK electronic musician Four Tet, who has also been critical of the streaming model, chimed in to the conversation:
@nigelgod exactly... I had everything on my label taken off. Don't want to be part of this crap.
— Four Tet (@FourTet) July 14, 2013
Although Yorke writes “we’re standing up for our fellow musicians,” it can be difficult to extrapolate his experience as an artist who has received years of label support and compare it to new artists who don’t have the same built in fan-base or level of exposure. Just as Radiohead was in a position to profit from the pay-what-you-want release model of In Rainbows, the same move that works for Yorke may not work for other smaller artists.
Atoms for Peace also released AMOK on XL Records, part of Beggars Group. As reported by Billboard last year, Beggars Group pays its artists half of all streaming revenue, a deal more favorable then other labels offer.
One fan reply to Godrich neatly sums up one of the counter arguments on the value of streaming: its use as a form of discovery that leads to other purchases:
@nigelgod Really? Bad move. I fell in love with your album on Spotify, then later bought the album and merch.
— Milton Graham (@MiltonG565) July 14, 2013
Godrich may have, however, provided the best reason for artists not to abandon Spotify. “The numbers don't even add up for spotify yet." he Tweeted. "Yet," being the key word. Music streaming has yet to reach the same consumer scale as say Netflix, though follows a similar business model. Most streaming services have also failed to take artist needs into consideration by adding links to tour information, merchandise or pre-sales. That could change in the future as many services reportedly in the works have yet to surface.
CEO of the forthcoming Beats streaming service Ian Rodgers seemed to be taking notes on the Godrich/Yorke conversation, tweeting @jessevondoom @jasonspitz I sent Nigel's entire rant to Jimmy and Trent this morning. We have to be a part of the solution, not the problem.
— ian c rogers (@iancr) July 14, 2013
You can read the full statements from Godrich and Yorke in a Storify created by MusicAlly here.