Thom Yorke vs. Spotify: Yorke and Nigel Godrich pull album from the streaming service

Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich announced they are pulling their Atoms For Peace collaboration from Spotify. Thom Yorke, who is the frontman for Radiohead, wrote, 'New artists you discover on #Spotify will no[t] get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it.'

Marko Djurica/Reuters
Thom Yorke performs at the EXIT music festival at Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad.

Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich have started a "small meaningless rebellion" against Spotify, announcing Sunday on Twitter they're pulling their Atoms For Peace collaboration off the streaming service over royalty payments they say are paltry.

The Radiohead frontman and his friend the influential producer-musician initially put "Amok" up on the service but decided after six months to take the unusual step of pulling it down.

Yorke wrote: "Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples."

Streaming payment models have gotten more attention as the mobile-friendly services continue to grow, taking a larger piece of the music marketplace.

At a Spotify gathering last month in New York to tout a staffing increase, Ken Parks, the company's chief content officer, said the company has already paid $500 million in royalties and was scheduled to reach $1 billion by the end of 2013.

The company released a statement Monday morning noting, "Much of this money is being invested in nurturing new talent and producing great new 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."

Yorke and Godrich – who say the decision only applies to the Atoms album, Yorke's solo record "The Eraser" and Godrich's Ultraista project and not the Radiohead catalog – say they're standing up for their fellow musicians. They believe popular artists with large catalogs probably are seeing some return.

"Meanwhile small labels and new artists can't even keep their lights on. It's just not right," Godrich wrote.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.