Life After Spotify: Thom Yorke, Atoms for Peace Partner With soundhalo…

Let the critics vilify Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, and Atoms for Peace all they want.  And, they have: just days after the pullout, Spotify released an entire research paper discrediting artist holdouts (curious timing), and Radiohead manager Brian Message has publicly disagreed with his own client on BBC.  Others have been far less kind.

Then again, critics don’t get you paid.  And from the perspective of Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, neither do fans on Spotify.

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Which brings us to this: Yorke (along with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and Atoms for Peace) are now focusing on better-paying platforms.  Yorke and his ‘supergroup’ band have now inked a deal with soundhalo, a company focused on recording and quickly re-distributing hi-def concert performances across the web (for a premium price, of course).

All of which brings us to London, where Atoms for Peace will be rocking three sold-out shows next week.  Two of those performances (on Thursday the 25th and Friday the 26th) will be available for purchase on the soundhalo platform, which means fans worldwide can enjoy the gig (with a slight delay) across their desktop, tablet, smartphone… whatever.

Perhaps more importantly, fans will be paying a modest premium to enjoy these performances.  And, none of this is ad-supported or fractions of a penny.  Instead, each gig costs £9.99 (or about $15), with one-off songs available for 99 pence ($1.50).  Or, you can go to the gig for about £65, where fans can then decide to purchase the video files for later viewing (it’s quite the targeted audience).

All of which is a whole lot more than Spotify pays.  And, Atoms for Peace will be getting a far better percentage of a far greater amount, on a far more unique asset that they control.

The re-broadcast is a major coup for soundhalo, not to mention the concept of digital concert redistribution.  Others swimming in this awesomely-emerging space include iRocke, Evntlive, Lively, Ustream, and StageIt (just to name a few), with arrow-in-back pioneers like Control Room and mega-simulcasts like Live 8 opening the potentially vast frontier.

Soundhalo, still in beta, delivers MP4s straight from the stage, with hi-res the norm (for those that can handle it).  Preview clips are available for free, and shareable across Facebook.  Once purchased, performances can be synch’d across different devices, including a majority of iOS and Android handhelds.  At present, soundhalo is optimized for Chrome, Safari, and IE10, with Firefox next.  Blackberry and Windows mobile devices are also on the plate (for whatever reason 😉

Written while listening to Atoms for Peace (on, err… YouTube (for free)).  But that’s another story entirely.

41 Responses

  1. smg77

    “a company focused on recording and quickly re-distributing hi-def performances across the web (for a premium price, of course).”

    Some of you guys are just so desperate for the days of $18 CDs to come back.

    • Tune Hunter

      We can go back to 40 billions with 29c transactions. No need for $18

      • Visitor

        “No need for $18”

        Nah, that’s just a straw man. 🙂

        • Tune Hunter

          You are the “must keel piracy” guy.

          I have a solution for you and 29 cents will do! 49 too $1.29 will not ( in 1999 after manufacturing and distribution cost each tune deliverd to label no more than 30 to 45 cents)

          You also got more time than me, so get involved, Shazam has a chance to catch up with iTunes and piracy will be at least choked.

          • Visitor

            There is more in the cost of an album besides manufacturing and distribution. Those two actually are the least of your problems when you release an album.

            But of course I don’t expect you to know that, since you have never taken the financial risk to print 100,000 CDs…

            It is easy to pretend you are a financial expert with other peoples’ money!

  2. jw

    The live simulcast has been tried over & over since the invention of the Real Player. How is this being touted as some sort of new strategy?

    The whole point of a live performance is actually being there… the production required to make up for not actually being there is pretty expensive, I have a hard time believing it would scale without an existing distribution network. And Atoms For Peace doesn’t have the fanbase that Radiohead has. Or anything even close. And without the production budget, you’re left with a mixed-on-the-fly, almost live broadcast that’s going to leave a consumer wanting more compared to a properly mixed, properly produced live dvd w/ bonus content.

    There’s money in it, sure, but how many times can you go to this well? Not many, not unless you’re Phish or something. And certainly not unless you can meet minimum production requirements, which aren’t cheap. I don’t really see this type of thing catching on without something like AMEX sponsorship.

    Here’s the thing… at a certain point broadband technology is going to allow for full resolution audio to be streamed. At that point, people are going to start making a choice. You can subscribe to iTunes Match, have it scan all of your 256kbps m4a files, & stream them back to you at full resolution. Or you can sign up for a streaming service, which will stream millions & millions of songs back to you at full resolution. And those are services for two different kinds of consumers, for most it will be an easy choice. And full res streaming is going to be a premium-only feature, & will spur all kinds of adoption &, at that point, streaming will finally make economic sense.

    Until then, Spotify is using free streaming as a loss leader in order to build momentum towards that format change. It can’t & shouldn’t make sense right now, economically.

    And until it does make sense, there’s no real solution out there. There’s lots of alternative revenue streams that are all good ideas… this soundhalo thing is a good idea, but it’s not the future. Shazaam could probably monetize better, but Shazaam is not the future. The nearterm looks like trying to cobble up a paycheck through any revenue source you can find, but the future has been written in stone, & when premium streaming takes hold, all of these alternative revenue streams will lose their importance almost overnight.

    But you don’t make anything better for yourself or anyone else by removing your catalog from Spotify. And Thom Yorke (who seems like a cool guy & all, for what it’s worth) is sort of showing that he’s not got the foresight that he’s known for. I’m curious to hear if they broach the subject on his Marc Maron interview that gets posted on Monday.

    At least that’s how I see it.

    • Yves Villeneuve

      By removing your content from Spotify you don’t contribute to the devaluation of music and artists. Yorke is intelligent enough to know this and not fall into this trap of promises that some make, including you.

      Spotify has proven, a minimum 70%-90% do not convert to paying subscribers while even more do not convert to premium for many reasons, and audio quality is not one of them.

      It’s time you admitted to your self, you do not represent the average music consumer. I am not saying premium unlimited music access is not financially viable for some who want to save on music expenditures.

      Unlimited music access is a bad music model since it caps music spending at $10 per month and it is a bad universal consumer model whereas the average music consumer spends less than $10 per month on music therefore are excluded from the service.

      People like you seem content to allow the labels to screw the average music consumer by conning them to subscribe and driving Internet bandwidth prices upwards to justify the cost of giving away premium music subscriptions to those who do not use them but then complain of labels charging $18 per CD. In the end consumer costs will be much greater through Internet access fees and additionally telecom firms making a profit/commission from the distribution of music subscriptions. You are setting up everyone to pay more when your intention is to pay less.

      I am of the common sense school of thought that frequent users should pay more on aggregate than infrequent users. You believe infrequent users should subsidize frequent users; this is your vested interest whether or not you are aware of it. Your system is not fair, to say the least.

  3. Tune Hunter

    “By removing your content from Spotify you don’t contribute to the devaluation of music and artists.”

    Perfect statement, I would only add MASSIVE before devaluation.

    • jw

      Music has no monetary value. Music has emotional value, and access has value. otherwise anywhere anyone hears music for free… On tv, at retail stores on the radio, etc, no matter how its subsedized, would be “devaluing” music. Someone hiving their physical collection away would be devaluing music. And that’s just not the case. Its just an argument that makes no sense.Spotify is trying to set up a scenario where access has value once again.

      • Tune Hunter


        …”emotional value”

        So get someone’s cash at the moment when they live it and love it! Just in the case (and it is the case) if they want to FEEL IT AGAIN! Own it or add it to your Spppoootify!

        DISCOVERY MOMENT MONETIZATION at 29 or 49cent list price – to be determined!

        There is only one condition: PROSTITUTION OF THE BEST KIDS OF THE INDUSTRY HAS TO END!!!! We have to remove them from the streets and make part of the music family – all discovery providers, if they get at least the same procentage as Walmart, Virgin or Tower got in the past will become best retailers music ever had.

        Free Shazam on Spotifiy = DEATH!

        • jw

          You sound more deranged each time you post.

          $.29/$.49 per song would’ve made sense a long time ago. But not now. The beauty of Spotify is that there is no transaction inbetween you & a song. That’s pretty much the whole point of it.

          I dunno why you think that everyone in the future is going to be everyone Shazaaming tracks all of the time.

          • tune Hunter

            If you remove free Shazam from your Spotify and data from radio display your smooth freeloder on Spotify will have to pay to continue with his great “emotion” in the future.

            This is the only way to go – music belongs to artists and they deserve to get cash at some point.

            We do not care for the total pleasure of the Spotify crowd! Owners and real market contributors MUST COME FIRST!

            Improved Napster – the Spotifiy has to be modified to serve the industry not the fulfilment of teenage dreams Ek, Parker and freeloaders.

            Discovery Moment Monetization is the only way to go and with it we can accept Spotify!

  4. jw

    If I was Spotify, I would have a plan in place to limit the benefits of the free accounts when the service reaches a certain number of customers. But doing so is like slamming the door behind them… Why would you do that before reaching that goal number?Its a bait and switch. At that point you’ve got customers hooked and your free-to-premium ratio starts to turn over and payout rates to artists start to grow.The music industry has, for a long time, been making short term decisions at the expense of long term financial health. We’re currently at what would’ve been long term in the early 00s if the industry had just planned for it. The more streaming is resisted, the longer this period of poor health is going to persist.

    • tune Hunter

      They (Spotify) should just buy with Parker’s cash Shazam!

      Than apply my RX and all will be happy again!

      There is no money in subscription. Looking at Sony price semi-premium Spotifiy we are drifting tp $5/month and it means that with 300 million members they will bring $18 billion a year!

      IF THEY WILL MAKE THIS NUMBER you will not see more than 7 billion from all other sources.

      Looking at XM with 24 million after 13 years they will be lucky to make 200 millions globally and it means a DEMOLISHED INDUSTRY BELOW 20 BILLIONS – including other sources!

      In that case label sherholders should start CRIMINAL PROSECUTION NOW! They are being robbed as we speak.

      Blavatnik and Daniel Loeb should walk in to the board rooms for major shake-up

      • Tune Hunter

        …..since there is no hope for the Universal team overlooked by French grandpas!

  5. Paul Resnikoff

    Somebody please save this comment thread…

    • Visitor

      Haha, well the problem is that Soundhalo doesn’t have any substance.

      So there’s nothing to discuss, and gravity takes over… 🙂

    • tune Hunter


      Shazam has 350 million users, and is adding 2 million a week!

      NOW Mr. Slim will give them access to 265 million lattino cell users so they can all go to YouTube water fountain!

      Of course at the end of the 2013 Shazam will be in the red at least 5 million dollars on revenues from advertising of Brita Filters and Capital one Visa!

      Very smart boys and they must to do it for free! If not, tragedy will heppen, my loaded Amish cabinet maker will buy servers and will replace them! Wow they shoud be concerned!

  6. GGG

    Cool…so how does this replace Spotify or get back sales? People who listen(ed) to their studio stuff on Spotify could still be interested in buying a live show stream just as much as a fan who bought the album. They think people are going to spend $15 bucks on this stream then buy an album for $10? If you’re going to spend the money to get this, chances are you already have the album legally or illegally, or heard it from having access to it through Spotify.

    I don’t get this mindset that if a person uses Spotify it replaces all other outlets and/or a person who listens to music on Spotify somehow refuses to consumer music in any other way. I use Spotify. I still use YouTube. I still buy records. I still go to shows. I still listen to radio (once in a while, if I have to..hah) It really should not be this hard to comprehend streaming simply being yet another rev stream.

    • Yves Villeneuve

      Once Spotify starts paying as much as Rhapsody then I will supply to Spotify.

      No need to bend over to payouts that are below par. The more we accept below par compensation the more par is reduced. That’s how the markets work.

      I spend zero effort receiving below par compensation (including Youtube), that’s how one establishes value for one’s music. No need to take it in the butt every time someone makes an offer, especially an insulting offer.

      I assume Atoms For Peace are on Rhapsody. You might want to consider switching to Rhapsody and stop asking artists to bend over and receive it in from behind… That’s basically what you are doing while at the same time reducing the market value of music, just so you can enjoy your discounted music service. Rhapsody offers a quality service and are respectful towards artists.

      • Rhapsody


        As always, you are confused and wrong. Rhapsody does not pay a penny per stream, at least not to indies. That ship sailed a long time ago.

        There doesn’t seem to be much of a market for your stuff, I wonder why you always seem to have a contrarian view of everything progressive and new. Business is clearly not your strong suit.

        • Yves Villeneuve

          Dear Fake Rhapsody(troll),

          I can categorically claim, each of your sentences are a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

          You may want to consider switching digital distributors/aggregators unless you are working out of the Spotify offices therefore no need for one.

          • HansH

            Yves, Rhapsody is right. My latest Rhapsody rates: 0.005 and 0.007. Litltle higher than Spotify maybe but what’s more important. Rhapsody accounts for less than 1% of all my streams. Deezer pays better than Rhapsody, why not release your music on Deezer. You have a French connection don’t you, so why not?

          • Faza (TCM)

            Which makes the question: who’s your distributor? ‘Coz I’m getting the same .91 cents + mechanicals as ever through CD Baby.

          • HansH

            It’s Zimbalam/Believe Digital. That’s interesting Faza.

            But I have to add that my rates are in Euros.

            Maybe we should compare more of the rates we are getting from our distributors.

            My Spotify rates in Euros for US streams in January per tier:

            Ad funded: 0.000537

            Unlimited: 0.002986

            Mobile: 0.005007

            Premium: 0.008359


          • Yves Villeneuve

            Hi Hans, briefly, I’ve always considered you to be a great source of misleading information. This is no exception. How are you maintaining your Pro-Spotify website? Can you provide us with a link. By the way, I consider you a bigger troll than anyone else posting on DMN.

            You are probably aware, unlike many others I don’t let national or language pride make my decisions. If Deezer wants to eliminate the discounted and free subscriptions then all systems go though will personally blog that music subscriptions offered in Internet or mobile bundles are intended to drive up the prices of Internet and telecom prices while consumers will ultimately be paying more out of their pockets versus if these bundles did not exist.

            Eventually telecom firms will want to fully recover its costs and make a profit/commission in the distribution of music subscriptions. These bundles increase the number of middlemen in the music industry therefore increases costs. They could possibly start demanding cheaper music subscription prices thus creating further devaluation of music and artist compensation. Either way you look at it, it’s a win-win for Internet and Telecom firms, not so much for others involved.

      • GGG

        You certainly talked about butt sex a lot in this post, Yves. Turn the porn off and then comment on DMN.

        But anyway, 99% of what you just said is beside my point. If their goal of getting off Spotify is to make up for money Spotify was taking away from them, selling live show video is not doing anything. Because it doesn’t matter how you listened to the record if you want to buy that stream. Just as many people will purchase that now as would have if they were still on Spotify.

        You spend zero effort doing anything. You don’t play live because you suck. You buy facebook ads so people in south asia “like” your page and then never care about you again, for obvious reasons. Quit pretending like you have some secretive fanbase, it’s really creepy. Your music has no value to reduce.

        There’s also no need for me to switch to Rhapsody for Atoms for Peace since I heard it when it came out and was thoroughly unimpressed. Glad I didn’t spend $10 on it and then be unimpressed and $10 poorer.

        • Yves Villeneuve

          You’ve clearly missed Thom Yorke’s point. Re-read my comment… This is clearly Yorke’s point I.E. Spotify’s formula, not streaming, is bad for artists.

          • Yves Villeneuve

            Btw, if you don’t like the image of screwing someone(artists) from behind then stop doing it.

            The rest of your comment is trolling.

        • so funny to see pirates preten

          You are someone who has a good career in music by the name “GGG”?

          Show us your official .com website.

          • GGG

            The fact that you think I go by the name GGG in real life and it’s not just a random DMN user name was almost dumb enough to make me not comment. But then I realized it was so fucking stupid I had to make a post telling you how fucking stupid you are.

            Also, I have mentioned my career in general terms on here before. Yes, I have a career in music. Is it ‘good?’ I dunno, depends what your parameters are. I can pay my rent in a very expensive city and eat every day. I can’t particularly afford too much disposable income, however. So I guess that’s good, but could be much, much better.

            What’s your .com website?

          • can't have it both ways

            The only way you can make money from music today is by giving licenses.

            So, you are making a living thanks to copyright.

            I will let you sit and think about it for a while…

          • GGG

            Correction: I’m making money off of other people’s copyrights essentially..haha.

            I manage a few acts (no, I won’t tell you which ones so my arguing on here doesn’t reflect on them), so I/we make money from a number of different avenues. Licensing HAS been the biggest/quickest payday for a couple acts, as we’ve gotten a couple chunks of songs on a couple TV shows. But I never said anything contrary, so not sure what you’re trying to insinuate here. If you’re trying to say I’m one of those anti-copyright, everything should be public domain people, you could not be more wrong.

    • Tune Hunter

      Folks should spend JUST 29 cents for purchase or addition of the tune to the play list ON SPOTIFY of DEEEZER or 3.99 SONY DESPERATION!

      But it has to be mandatory at DISCOVERY MOMENT.

      NO free Shazam, Soundhoud Lyrics ID or display on the radio (Pandora and XM TOOOOOO!)

      Simple 29 cents PER TUNE!

      M A N D A T O R Y !

      Considering that it is at least 50 times easier to buy single tune with your cell than full CD with no discovery tools in 1999 we have 100 BILLION DOLLAR industry right now! HIDDEN TO MUSICIANS AND INVESTORS BY…………………..who?

      1999 —— 3 billion CD TRANSACTIONS at 12.99 (AVG top/crap) made 40BILLIONS wow all drunk and happy 🙂

      NOW TODAY WE HAVE 3 billion transactions x 50 x2 SINCE THERE IS AT LEAST TWO TIMES AS MANY FOLKS WITH TOYS AN PURCHASING POWER (estern Europe and Far East) THAN IN 1999 = 300 billions [TIMES X TIMES] $.29 (twenty nine cents) = EQUALS 90 BILLION


      Lets do it. Why not? Any objections?

        • Tune Hunter

          You are clueless.

          Music Industry is like a boat full of GOLD on the Sreaming Sea and Shazam, Soundhound Lyric IDs and radio displays are just big holes in that boat!

          • jw

            You’re essentially talking about turning Spotify into a locked down version of iTunes Match. Lol.

            Not sure you really “get” what Spotify is trying to do.

          • tune Hunter

            If you plug those holes in our Music Boat (see above) we can live Spotify! They can satisfy users with similar song sugestion, so they can listen to all copy cats of great song!

            Than it still would be the best and most fair to have an initial payment for first stream with, say seven, additional paid streams converting you to total owner, NO SUBSCRIBTION SPOTIFY.

            10 7×5 cents for 45 cent rent-to-own deal.

          • Tune Hunter

            Spotify is shrinking the total potential size (or revenues) of music industry to around 25 – 30 billion dollars per year.

            In the meantime the BLIND man can see 100 billions in the internet/music synergy!

            Spotify with those ID services makes original Napster very primitive, it is great pleaser of public – does not bring best ROI to Music Industry

            It is a daylight rape on musicians!