Drummer For Legendary Indie Rock Band Calls On Artists To Starve Spotify And Pandora

damon krukowski drummer

Damon Krukowski is one half of Damon and Naomi, a highly respected avant-rock duo. 

He also played drums in Galaxie 500, one of the most influential indie rock bands ever.

Krukowski has been one of the most articulate voices in the debate over whether artists are getting what they deserve from new music distribution platforms like Pandora and Spotify. 

And yesterday, as chronicled by Storify user Ahmad Zaghal, he took to Twitter to respond to the news that Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke was pulling his material from Spotify.

Krukowski basically goes “Ransom” on the platforms, saying artists should cut their losses and instead focus on starving the music distributors:

This reveals the sad, brutal truth about the whole royalty rate argument: musicians are probably lucky to be getting what they’re getting.

That may seem reductive.

But the “Napster generation” is so called because they grew up with the expectation of paying zilch for their music. Even Krukowski has admitted that he subscribes to Spotify (we’re not sure if these Tweets now mean he’s off it). 

The folks at the Trichordist blog make a similar point today, writing that Google is an even greater offender than either Pandora or Spotify when it comes to compensating artists — because basically, Google doesn’t:

One of the primary reasons Spotify pays so little is because so many more pay nothing at all. Google alone is tracking millions and millions of infringement notices to over 200,000 known illegally operating businesses.

For those who unaware, Ad Sponsored Piracy is the mechanism by which illegal and infringing online businesses get paid to display advertising on their sites. These sites do not licence any of the music they distribute nor do they share any of this revenue with artists or rights holders. In other words Silicon Valley corporate interests pocket 100% of the money and pay artists nothing.

Simply put, ad supported piracy is the practice whereby ad networks like Google’s Adsense profit by placing ads on pirate sites like www mp3skull com.

Bottom line: if you’re a listener and you want to support your favourite artists, you should buy their music. 

Sadly, if you’re an artist, you probably need to lower your the expectation that you’ll be able to support yourself from music alone.

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