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Radiohead's Thom Yorke slams Spotify and removes music from service

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has removed his solo material, as well as that of side project Atoms For Peace, from music streaming service Spotify.

Explaining the decision on Twitter (opens in new tab), Yorke slammed the company for not paying artists enough and said, "we are standing up for our fellow musicians."

"Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will not get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly be rolling in it. Simples," he wrote (opens in new tab).

The announcement that Atoms For Peace would be removing their music from Spotify was first made by Nigel Godrich, the band's lead singer and longtime Radiohead producer.

"New artists get paid fuck all with this model. It's an equation that just doesn't work," he said (opens in new tab).

In a series of further tweets, Godrich spoke strongly against streaming services and the deals made between the companies and big record labels.

"The music industry is being taken over by the back door and if we don't try and make it fair for new music producers and artists then the art will suffer," he wrote (opens in new tab).

"These are all the same old industry bods trying to get a stranglehold on the delivery system. 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.

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

The industry standard for payment to record labels by streaming services is just under 0.4p per stream, meaning a million streams would raise £3,800.

In a statement, Spotify said, "Right now we're still in the early stages of a long-term project that's already having a hugely positive effect on artists and new music. We've already paid $500m [£332 million] to rights holders so far and by the end of 2013 this number will reach $1bn. 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."

Last week, Spotify removed the beta shackles from its updated Windows Phone 8 app (opens in new tab), calling it a "big" update.

Image credit: Flickr (angela n. (opens in new tab))

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.