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Rock band to release 1,000 track album in protest against Spotify royalties

The Pocket Gods' album is in protest to the streaming service's model that only monetises plays after 30 seconds

By Hollie Geraghty

A person holds their smartphone with the Spotify icon on the screen
(Photo: Pexels/cottonbro).

A rock group is set to release an album consisting of 1,000 songs at 30 seconds long, in response to Spotify’s royalty rates.

St Albans band The Pocket Gods will release ‘1000×30 – Nobody Makes Money Anymore’ next Friday to protest the streaming service’s model that means revenue is only activated after a song has been played for 30 seconds.

The group was inspired by an article published in the i by New York music professor Mike Errico, who questioned the future 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?’,” band frontman Mark Christopher Lee told i News.

He said they earn around £0.002 from each Spotify stream, and said they were effectively “giving away” the extra two minutes and 30 seconds of a song for free.

“We wrote and recorded 1,000 songs, each a shade over 30 seconds long for the album. The longest is 36 seconds,” Lee continued. “It is designed to raise awareness about the campaign for fair royalty rates.”

He said the album is being uploaded to Spotify but the stunt means they “risk being thrown off the platform”.

One track on the album is called ‘0.002’. “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.”

Speaking about the 1,000 tracks, Lee said: “Sometimes we start with a chorus and repeat it, others have a verse and chorus.”

The band also explained why they will not follow Neil Young and other musicians who have removed their music from the platform in protest of Covid-19 misinformation.

“Spotify is a great musical resource and it allows indie bands like us to upload our music without record companies,” Lee said.

“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.”

Spotify has come under more fire recently after compilation footage emerged of Rogan using racial slurs.

CEO Daniel Ek recently sent an internal memo to Spotify employees that said he “strongly condemns” the podcaster’s language but added that “silencing” him was not the answer.