Atoms for Peace's Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich have announced the removal of their songs from Spotify. In a series of Twitter posts, Yorke and Godrich criticized Spotify for the amount of money paid to artists who allow their music on the popular music streaming service.
"We're off of spotify.. Can't do that no more man.. Small meaningless rebellion," Godrich tweeted on Sunday, July 14. "The reason is that new artists get paid f**k all with this model. It's an equation that just doesn't work. Meanwhile, small labels and new artists can't even keep their lights on. It's just not right."
Yorke, who is also the frontman of Radiohead, joined the protest. He tweeted, "Make no mistake new artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid. Meanwhile, shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples. We're standing up for our fellow musicians."
Responding to the two musicians' criticism, a Spotify spokesperson released a statement on Monday, July 15. "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," the statement read.
The representative said Spotify had already paid $500 million to rights-holders, a number that will reach $1 billion by the end of the year. "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," the statement continued.
Godrich quickly responded on Twitter, writing, "So Spotify say they have generated $500 million dollars for 'license holders.' 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," he continued.
"Catalog and new music cannot be lumped in together," Godrich said. "The model massively favours the larger companies with big catalogs... It's up to streaming providers to come back with a better way of supporting new music producers," he added.
Yorke and Godrich's decision to remove their song from Spotify appeared to affect Atoms for Peace's latest album "Amok" and Yorke's 2006 solo album "The Eraser". Godrich later tweeted that he'd also withdraw the self-titled album of his band, Ultraista.