English rocker and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke fancies himself a champion of the meek, opting to yank his music from Spotify in defense of emerging artists.
Yorke and his producer Nigel Godrich, whose album credits include Radiohead and Paul McCartney, took to Twitter to explain, calling the decision a "small meaningless rebellion."
Yorke broke it down for musicians:
Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples.-- Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) July 14, 2013
“your small meaningless rebellion is only hurting your fans ... a drop in the bucket really” No we're standing up for our fellow musicians-- Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) July 14, 2013
Godrich described the withdrawal as a call for change:
The reason is that new artists get paid fuck all with this model.. It's an equation that just doesn't work-- nigel godrich (@nigelgod) July 14, 2013
The numbers don't even add up for spotify yet.. But it's not about that.. It's about establishing the model which will be extremely valuable-- nigel godrich (@nigelgod) July 14, 2013
Spotify responded to the backlash in a statement on Monday, saying that it's already in the early stages of a project that will benefit new artists:
"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 we all love.
“We’ve already paid US$500m to rights holders 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."
Yorke joins a rapidly growing list of artists pissed off at streaming services, including Led Zeppelin and smaller but no less vocal combatants FourTet, Grizzly Bear, Cracker, and Camper Van Beethoven.