Need a way to blow out the Wednesday-morning cobwebs? How about streaming German rock band Rammstein’s back catalogue?

The band have inked an exclusive deal with Spotify to make their six studio albums available on the service – the first time it’s been available to stream.

It’s a six-month exclusive for the “entire Rammstein catalogue”, so there’s scope for individual albums to be added to rival services – including premium-only ones like Beats, Rhapsody and WiMP – once the six months is up.

Meanwhile, indie singer/songwriter Ron Pope has been speaking out in Spotify’s defence again, over the Taylor Swift pullout.

In a Billboard piece, Pope claimed he made $250k from 44.6m Spotify streams in the last year; points the finger (once again) at labels and publishers; and calls for artists to support streaming rather than withdraw from it.

“We can’t go back to 2007. We have to deal with the music industry that we work in today,” he wrote. “I am honestly worried about the future of the music industry; as a result, I want nothing more than for my fans, many of whom are not accustomed to paying for music, to listen to my music in a place that may help them modify their behaviour so that one day, they might pay for music.”

But Pope also calls for execs at Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody, iTunes and other digital services to “sit down with artists and have an open, honest dialogue about what we all want and how we can get there together”.

Finally, Spotify announced its latest billion-stream artist yesterday: One Direction, who became the 14th artist to reach that total on the service.

(If you’re interested, the others are, from most to least streams: Eminem, David Guetta, Rihanna, Coldplay, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Katy Perry, Drake, Pitbull, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, Beyonce and Imagine Dragons.

OBLIGATORY payout calculation: 1D’s one billion streams should be between $6m and $8.4m paid to rightsholders. OBLIGATORY caveat: heaven knows how much of that made its way through to the band and individual songwriters involved in their back catalogue.

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