Music streaming service Spotify has been getting it from all angles in recent memory, and now one rock band has come up with a less-than-subtle way of creating their own response to the royalties debacle.
Poised for release this coming Friday - on Spotify - is a new album from a rock band called The Pocket Gods. The band is doing things a little bit differently in light of certain headlines related to the royalties dished out to artists on the music streaming service, and plan on having a 1000-strong track listing on their latest release.
Entitled '1000×30 – Nobody Makes Money Anymore', the cult band from St Albans in the UK will be releasing songs that abide by Spotify's strict rules on how artists make revenue from their tracks.
The current Spotify royalties set-up sees artists only making money after a track is listened to for more than 30 seconds. Following this high listening hurdle, artists will only be paid out a paltry €0.0026 per stream. So, even if a song gets one million streams, it will only equate to somewhere in the region of €2,600.
And so, The Pocket Gods have decided to take the matters into their own hands and deliver an album with a thousand tracks that are all in the region of 30 seconds.
Speaking with i News, the frontman of the band Mark Christopher Lee said the band's idea was inspired by the article by New York music professor Mike Errico which highlighted the huge discrepancy between Spotify and what it pays its artists. He said: "I saw the article and it made me think, 'Why write longer songs when we get paid little enough for just 30 seconds?'
"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.
"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."
Although the album is set to be released this Friday, February 11, Lee admitted that their brave idea could risk them "being thrown off the platform" entirely. Recording overly-long albums isn't a new avenue for The Pocket Gods, however, as they have previously released collections featuring over 100 songs. An album released last year, 'The Periodic Table' also features tracks clocking in at 30 seconds, but only has a humble 118 tracks on offer.
The dawn of Spotify and its strict 30-second royalties payment has seen song lengths drop in recent years. The average length of a number one single has dropped by an average of 38 seconds when compared to the previous decade, potentially down to the music streaming model.
Spotify has seen its stock plummet dramatically in the past couple of weeks, partly due to Joe Rogen and the controversial comments made on his exclusive podcast. Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and other artists have since removed their discography from the music service.