I’ve never been an online-music-streaming kind of person. I am one of those geeks who would prefer to spend most of their money on an album rather than clothes, just because I sincerely believe that an artist’s work should somehow get recognised. Free downloading is obviously illegal and though some might find it conveniently useful to just obtain music without paying for it, actual people with actual jobs and actual tremendous effort put on every piece of music, are undervalued with just a click of a button. But what happens when downloading is not free?
Spotify is one of the biggest online music streaming services, which allows people to have access to a wide range of albums with the maximum subscription of ten pounds. In return, it promises to compensate artists for using their rights of intellectual property. However, as it turns out, a great number of artists is dissatisfied with the (under)payment and with the way this system works. One of them is Radiohead and Atoms for Peace front man Thom Yorke.
The singer has attacked Spotify several times in the past through his twitter account or in interviews and lately decided to remove all of his music from the service. This time he got really angry and stated that artists don’t need Spotify to get their work promoted, since they can do everything by themselves. In an interview with Mexican website Sopitas he stated: “I feel like as musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing.” And then, he addressed Spotify saying “We don’t need you to do it. No artist needs you to do it. We can build the shit ourselves, so fuck off”.
I couldn’t agree more. Sure, albums can be expensive, but music is not only art. It is also a job, just like many others and these artists are professionals who need to get paid in order to continue entertaining their audience. Besides that, what happened to being excited with a new release? What happened to communicating with the artist not only in concerts but through the cover of their album?
Music diffusion has changed in so many ways since Internet appeared in our lives. But to me, some things can and should stay traditional. No one has the right to undermine a person’s work by selling it for the lowest price possible; especially if they have no intention of paying the artist. If Spotify does not pay for copyright, then in what way does it differ from illegal free downloading? I know. In the way that Spotify somehow manages to make money out of it! Get some perspective, people. If you’re planning to be illegal, do it the old fashioned way, don’t pay these guys! Just saying…