Spotify launched its Spotify Artists website earlier this week, but there’s already a spoof version so convincing, it sparked a stream of unimpressed tweets from musician/producer Nigel Godrich this morning.
The site is Spotify for Artists, which has been carefully designed to look just like an official Spotify site. It’s only when you clock the logo, the fact that all the artists pictured are Spotify holdouts and critics (or in some cases, former Spotify holdouts), and some of its wilder promises, that you realise it’s not the real deal.
“We’ve really changed our ways. Now SpotifyforArtists makes sure the creators you love see the love. Directly. We’re paying them more. So you can keep supporting your community just by listening. And they can afford to keep making the music you love to listen to,” explains its homepage.
“For a while now we’ve been encouraging everyone to listen to music without ever actually owning it. Now you have the option to buy an album and the artist gets 95% of the proceeds. Just like that. And you can keep it, listen to it anytime, anywhere. Even pass it to your children. Think of it as an investment in your future and the future of music.”
Also: “We’ve hired a team of lawyers to help musicians write contracts that favor them, not an industry that doesn’t have their best interests in mind. These lawyers will be working with any musician who asks to ammend contracts and educate them so they have the best situation moving forward. Let’s make the future fair.”
When you go to the site’s About page, you get more of a sense of what’s going on: “SpotifyforArtists is a proposal for an alternative to the current system. Its a campaign to ask for a world we would like to live in. We admire people who speak out and offer ideas for change. Criticism without cynicism. Spotify should listen to these ideas and change their practices,” it explains, albeit with no indication of who’s behind the site.
There’s a contact form, which we’ve filled in to see if the creators are talking about it. We’ll update this story if and when they reply.
Godrich certainly wasn’t impressed before finding out that the site was a spoof. “Wow I am literally gobsmacked by the spotifyforartists website! This being possibly one of the weirdest things I have ever seen,” he tweeted this morning.
“Along the bottom of the first page is pics of music by artists famously against spotify – black keys, atoms. in the middle is ultraista!!! Ha ha we finally made it.. Except of course they are implying that all these said artists are now on board as they’ve ‘changed their ways’.. They’re claiming that they’re paying more.. How? Just because they’re gonna sell music too..?? This is getting weirder by the minute. Then pic of David Byrne and Amok.. platitudes about doing the right thing.. but no info about what that is. Again inferred support ..”
Godrich took the news that the site wasn’t real in good humour, when we tweeted him. “phew!!!! Thank fucking god for that……!!!! I mean… Ok props to whoever put the spotifyforartists site up 🙂 Dang. Got me going… Let it be known… It is a spoof site and thank god. Even I thought it was beneath them!! But it raises a good idea.. Which is that they could sell music instead. Bye!!!”
Spotify, of course, DID used to sell music, initially via 7digital, before running an MP3 store itself, which was shut down in January 2013.