Knowledge Bank

news category created 20 December 2013 written by Dan Cox


Let’s kick this off with an article about the opinion of Smiths’ guitarist, Johnny Marr:
– reproduced from The Guardian/Sean Michaels

Johnny Marr claims Spotify ‘hampers’ new bands’ potential
‘I can’t think of anything more opposite to punk rock than Spotify,’ says former Smiths guitarist

• David Byrne: ‘The internet will suck out all creative content’ 
• Thom Yorke calls Spotify ‘last fart of a dying corpse’

Johnny Marr has joined Thom Yorke and David Byrne in suggesting that Spotify harms the modern music industry.

“I can’t think of anything more opposite to punk rock than Spotify,” Marr told NME. “I think it entirely hampers new bands, and the situation that Thom Yorke and Beck have been criticising makes the old record companies of the 70s look like cottage industries.”

The former Smiths guitarist “[has] no answer to the economic side of the modern music industry”, he admitted. “But I do think we certainly shouldn’t stop valuing what bands do. I don’t like great things being throwaway. Pop culture isn’t just about ‘the music, man’. It’s a way of life, an aesthetic, and it’s not just about pressing a button and getting something entirely for convenience.”

Marr’s opposition to Spotify puts him alongside Yorke, Byrne and Beck, but in a clash with the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, who recently sided with the London and Stockholm-based company. “As a songwriter you should worship Spotify, because they’ve come along with a solution,” he said. Billy Bragg and Gang of Four’s Dave Allen published similar statements, stating that the music industry has to adapt to its new circumstances.

But Yorke, and others, have argued that the problem of Spotify is not its payouts to established artists but the way it pays emerging acts. “Streaming suits [back] catalogue,” wrote producer Nigel Godrich. “Spotify and the like either have to address that fact and change the model for new releases or else all new music producers should be bold and vote with their feet.”

In their own response to mounting attacks, Spotify recently launched a website to explain the way they pay their artists. “The position we take is look, we know Spotify is not perfect for all artists yet, but this is the theory behind it, this is where we are, and this is where we’re going,” a staffer explained.