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Spotify responds to Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich criticism

Tim Ingham
Spotify responds to Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich criticism

Spotify isn't keeping quiet after seeing its business model slammed by Radiohead duo Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich - telling Music Week that it is striving to be "the most artist-friendly music service possible".

Long-term Radiohead producer Godrich last night announced the removal of his latest album with Yorke, Atoms For Peace's AMOK, from the service - along with Yorke's solo effort The Eraser and Godrich's own Ultraísta.

They join Radiohead's In Rainbows (2007), which was given away via a controversial 'pay what you want' model when first released, but does not now appear on streaming services.

Other classic Radiohead albums such as The Bends, OK Computer and Kid A - all released on EMI and all worked on by Godrich - remain on Spotify.

"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," a company spokesperson said today.

"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.

"Right now we're still in the early stages of a long-term project that's already having a hugely positive effect on artists and new music. We've already paid US$500M to rightsholders so far and by the end of 2013 this number will reach US$1bn. Much of this money is being invested in nurturing new talent and producing great new music.

"We're 100% committed to making Spotify the most artist-friendly music service possible, and are constantly talking to artists and managers about how Spotify can help build their careers."

Godrich claimed that Spotify and other streaming services were not paying new artists a fair amount of royalty cash. He said: "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. Make no mistake. These are all the same old industry bods trying to get a stranglehold on the delivery system."

Godrich's indie production peer Stephen Street cited Radiohead's decision to 'give away' In Rainbows as a pay-what-you want release as a key reason for artists' work now being devalued by the public.

He said on Twitter: "Bit rich coming from Thom Yorker that Spotify doesn't work for new artists. It's exactly what I said when Radiohead made their album available for free/ pay what you want a few years back.

"Suits superstars with 10 years of EMI investment behind them. It didn't help new upcoming artists at all. Gave the wrong message that music had no value. It's bitten you on the arse Thom!"

[UPDATE: Thom Yorke retweeted all of Godrich's comments, before stating: "Make no mistake new artists you discover on will no get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples." Responding to criticism like Street's, he said: "For me In Rainbows was a statement of trust .people still value new music. That's all we'd like from Spotify - don't make us the target."]

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Tags: spotify, Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Spotify debate

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