- 07 Feb 22
The Pocket Gods' forthcoming album, 1000×30 – Nobody Makes Money Anymore points to the fact that a Spotify stream is registered after 30 seconds of play.
Cult indie-rock group the Pocket Gods have announced plans to use their forthcoming album to raise awareness of Spotify's royalty rates.
The album, titled 1000×30 – Nobody Makes Money Anymore will consist of 1,000 tracks all with a runtime of approx. 30 seconds.
Spotify's current business model dictates that a single stream of a song, and the resulting revenue, is activated after just 30 seconds of play.
Frontman of the group, Christopher Lee, was inspired by an article in The Independent in which a New York-based music professor argued that Spotify's idea of what constitutes a stream could mark the end of the three-minute pop song.
“I saw the article and it made me think, ‘Why write longer songs when we get paid little enough for just 30 seconds?’,” Lee told i News.
One track on the album called '0.002' directly references the amount of money an artist receives per stream on the platform.
"We wrote and recorded 1,000 songs, each a shade over 30 seconds long for the album. The longest is 36 seconds. It is designed to raise awareness about the campaign for fair royalty rates," Lee said.
“We used to get 0.007p a play, still a pittance but that seems to have been cut since Spotify bought the Joe Rogan Experience podcast for $100m.”
The streaming platform has already been under fire over the past few weeks following a dispute between Neil Young and The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
Young, along with a few other legendary acts like Joni Mitchell, made the decision to remove their music from Spotify after claiming Rogan's podcast proliferated vaccine misinformation. Since then, Rogan hit the headlines after the N-word was used in a number of his previous podcast episodes. After the host issued an apology for the racist remarks, over 100 episodes of his podcasts have now been removed from the platform.
Christopher Lee maintains that the purpose behind the Pocket Gods' new album is strictly to protest royalties.
“Spotify is a great musical resource and it allows indie bands like us to upload our music without record companies,” Lee explained. “I also believe in free speech even though I’m a massive Neil Young fan so I don’t support the boycott. We just want to raise awareness of the royalties issue.”
Creating the 1,000 track protest record was a struggle for the rock outfit.
"Sometimes we start with a chorus and repeat it, other have a verse and a chorus," Lee added.
"There's not much room for manoeuvring. Audiences enjoy the songs live but it's difficult for the band to get into a groove."
This is not the first time the group has used pointed singles as a response to Spotify's royalty rates. In 2019, the lo-fi rockers released a straight-forward holiday track titled 'Spotify Give Us More Money This Christmas.'
Since 1998, the Pocket Gods have released 74 albums. No stranger to long-form work, among their discography are collections of 100 songs.
Their 2021 release 500x30 Morse Code Days in Lockdown holds the current record for most tracks on an album.
Photo by Christina Jansen