In the wake of artists expressing their opinions over the controversial Joe Rogan Experience podcast came a second conversation – Spotify's pay rates are terrible. Failure has completely pulled their music in protest, while All That Remains vocalist Phil Labonte recently said it's insane to "glibly act as if $0.0007 cents for every spin is fair."
Now English band The Pocket Gods is jumping into the fray with a 1,000 song album consisting of songs that are all 30 second called 1000×30 – Nobody Makes Money Anymore. The idea was inspired by an Independent article on music professor Mike Errico, who questioned if a three-minute song is even viable anymore given that Spotify pays an artist after 30 seconds and asked "Are you, in fact, screwing yourself six times over for writing a three-minute song (30 seconds x 6 = three minutes)?"
"I saw the article and it made me think, 'Why write longer songs when we get paid little enough for just 30 seconds?'," said The Pocket Gods vocalist Mark Christopher Lee in an interview with iNews.
"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."
You can stream two very-aptly named songs "0.002" and "Nobody Makes Any Money Anymore" below. On the "0.002" title, Lee adds "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."
Whether or not Spotify lets the album continue to exist on its platform is another story, but it does fall directly in line with Errico's feelings and should be an interesting experiment. This has at least some echoes of a similar stunt pulled by Vulfpeck in 2014, where the band released an album of silence on Spotify and made $20,000 in royalties.