Thom Yorke vs. Spotify: Why The Radiohead Frontman Is an Unfortunate Mouthpiece for the Underdog

9:25 am in Uncategorized by April Siese

Thom Yorke on BBC1

Are Thom Yorke’s criticisms of Spotify fair?

Thom Yorke continues to bash Spotify in his latest interview with Sopitas, despite continuing to allow the streaming service to offer a robust array of Radiohead songs and albums. Throughout countless interviews this summer, Yorke has been hyper-critical of Spotify as a resource to less popular, indie, or smaller acts out there. He considers Spotify an unneeded gatekeeper to the artist-fan interaction that Radiohead was trying to create when they offered their pivotal, game-change of an album In Rainbows with a “set your own price” option that similarly falls in line with Bandcamp, the sixtyone, and other band websites.

Setting your own price on an album isn’t all that revelatory or radical, nor is bashing a relatively beneficial streaming service that rightfully pays artists legally rather than letting them toil for nothing thanks to the prevalence of media piracy that goes as far as the theft of full albums, DVDs, and even music videos. To call Spotify “the last fart, the last desperate fart of a dying corpse” and subsequently bash its place in the music industry while Atoms for Peace rides high on the contentious festival circuit only further points to just how out of touch Yorke is with the inner workings of the music industry itself. It’s a hypocritical power-play, to put the supergoup’s faith in a large-format live setting that’s threatening to collapse on itself from the simple prevalence and current popularity of the festival.

Yorke, and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich initially took to Twitter to air their criticisms, only further shaking the credibility of their accusations. As a networking platform, source for breaking news, and 140 character melting pot of jokes and knowledge, the site is notorious for users usurping others’ creativity and hijacking tweets faster than the time it takes to head to the Pirate Bay and torrent Atoms for Peace’s lone album. The duo are key members in Radiohead and Atoms for Peace and yet neither seem to check or balance each other when it comes to the business decision of pulling AFP’s music from Spotify but reaping the benefits of constant streams of Pablo Honey, OK Computer, and countless other iconic Radiohead albums.

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