Last night, Nigel Godrich and Thom Yorke pulled their band Atoms for Peace’s albums from Spotify and strongly criticised the streaming music service. This morning, Spotify has responded.
“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. We want to help artists connect with their fans, find new audiences, grow their fan base, and make a living from the music which we all love,” Spotify said in a statement released to journalists.
“Right now we’re still in the first stages of a long-term project that’s already having a hugely positive effect on artists and new music. We’ve already paid $500m to rightsholders so far and by the end of 2013 this number will reach $1bn. Much of this money is being invested in nurturing new talent and producing new great 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.”
The company’s CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek has also been commenting on the row on Twitter, in response to questions from journalist Duncan Geere about how Spotify works for new artists.
“So far I’ve not seen any cannibalisation. So question should be – Why shouldn’t you do streaming?” tweeted Ek, before outlining what he sees as the key benefits for new artists.
“Multiple reasons. In many markets streaming is now a very big revenue source… plus this isn’t apples to apples. So look longer than first few weeks and streaming is often bigger revenue than downloads… plus jay-z, daft Punk and others did great while pre streaming their music.”
Earlier today, Spotify’s artist-in-residence D.A. Wallach also joined the debate. Yes, on Twitter. “Really sad that Nigel Godrich and Thom Yorke are worried about Spotify,” tweeted Wallach.
“We spend a ton of time talking to artists and I really hope that they will meet with us to have a conversation. Been working hard to make sure that Spotify is the most artist-friendly music company ever.”
For context to the streaming payouts debate, read our Writing or Speaking about Streaming Music Screwing Artists? roundup, which brings together past artist opinions and industry data. And see our opinion piece from this morning about Why Atoms for Peace’s Spotify Pullout Matters (and What Needs to Happen Next).