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Radiohead boss defends Spotify after Thom Yorke protest

Radiohead co-manager Brian Message has openly supported Spotify after Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich lambasted the music streaming service on Twitter.

Speaking as part of the BBC Newshour, Message has openly supported music streaming services, despite Yorke and Godrich criticising Spotify’s lack of monetary support for new and emerging artists.

“I think myself and a whole range of managers look at new technology developments such as Spotify as a good thing”, said Message. “The Internet is a really cutting edge way of fans and artists to communicate with each other… Streaming services are a very new way for artists and fans to engage.”

Yorke and Godrich made a decision to remove any Atoms for Peace music from Spotify as well as Yorke’s solo album The Eraser as a stand for the pitiful royalty payments made to independent musicians.

“As a manager of Thom, I obviously sit up and take note of when he says, ‘Listen guys we need to look at how this works.’ It’s a good, healthy debate that this is going on right now.”

Many artists have argued that streaming services like Spotify aren’t as financially viable as selling digital or physical copies of singles or albums. This is due to the low per-stream payments, which by industry standards are less than 0.04p.

“As the model gets bigger, I think we’ll find it’ll become a place where artists and managers and all creators can receive what they regard as being equitable remuneration.”

“It’s not black and white, it’s a complicated area,” he admitted. “The bottom line is, technology is here to stay; evolution of technology is always going to go on. It’s up to me as a manager to work with the likes of Spotify and other streaming services to best facilitate how we monetize those for the artists that we represent.”

Spotify has defended itself saying that by the end of the year, the service will have paid out $1 billion to the music rights holders.

It said it is “100 per cent committed to making Spotify the most artist-friendly music service possible.”

“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,” said a Spotify spokesperson to TrustedReviews.

Next, read our Spotify vs iTunes Radio comparison.


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