Just in time for Spotify’s fifth anniversary, Radiohead and Atoms for Peace frontman Thom Yorke delivered a birthday message to the streaming service.
The Brit rocker called Spotify and services of similar ilk “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse,” referring to what he said is an imminent collapse of the music industry. In an interview with Mexican website Sopitas, Yorke lashed out at major labels’ partnerships with services like Spotify, which he said siphons money from artists, according to Business Insider.
In July Yorke pulled his solo work and Atoms for Peace songs from Spotify and other streaming services, taking to Twitter with producer Nigel Godrich to air their grievances.
Spotify has been both criticized and praised for its role in a fledgling industry. But the company defends charging royalty rates by noting it pays out almost 70 percent of its revenue to music rights holders, which includes a total of $500 million since its launch.
Critics of Yorke’s fight against streaming services point to Radiohead’s decision to self-release and let fans determine how much they would pay for the 2007 album In Rainbows. The rocker responded and called the move a way for fans to be closer with the artist, noting that streaming services intervene as a gatekeeper. The singer and guitarist are calling on the music industry to push for a better business model that will benefit everyone, especially artists.
But Yorke is not the only artist to decry the online streaming model. Alt-country start Jason Isbell, indie rock band Grizzly Bear, The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden have also spoken out about the popular service. Even old catalogs from big-billed names like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin have protected their music from streaming.
Nobody ask Yorke about his feelings on torrenting.