Thom Yorke Eats His Words on Spotify and YouTube…

Has Thom Yorke Finally Given In To Spotify?
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Radiohead’s new song is on Spotify…

Which is surprising when you consider that Thom Yorke, on several occasions, has declared his absolute hatred for Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services that allow fans to listen to music for free.  Yorke even went so far as to compare YouTube to the Third Reich.

Yorke is an advocate for fair-pay for artists, and back in 2013 he famously pulled his music from Spotify dubbing the service ”the last desperate fart of a dying corpse.”

On July 14th, 2013, Yorke blasted Spotify for short-changing musicians and tweeted the following.

Has Thom Yorke Finally Given In To Spotify?
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When explaining to Business Insider, Yorke has previously said…

”I feel like as musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing.  I feel that in some ways what’s happening in the mainstream is the last gasp of the old industry.  Once that does finally die, which it will, something else will happen.”

Regardless of Yorke’s protest against the streaming service, Radiohead’s new song ‘Burn The Witch’ is on the service — news that makes Spotify very happy.  The streaming service posted this ebullient tweet yesterday…

Has Thom Yorke Finally Given In To Spotify?
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But, that’s not all… Radiohead’s new song is also on YouTube.

Another surprising revelation, considering the fact that Yorke compared YouTube to ‘Nazis during second world war’ last year. The song has already racked up over 4 million views on YouTube in one day.

So, has Thom Yorke finally made up with these streaming platforms?  Or, has streaming gained so much strength that it’s near-suicide to release without them?

7 Responses

  1. Chris

    Surely the bigger deal is the fact they premiered their music on YouTube, months after he compared them to Nazis!

  2. Other Chris H

    I would hold your tongue on this until we see the full album release, or you might be eating your words. You might be right. It’s certainly possible that Thom & Co. are changing course…or this could simply be a loss leader – put out the single on all platforms, but the full release only on higher (read fair) paying platforms. Pretty basic business strategy. And, that wouldn’t violate Thom’s anti-Spotify stance, as it wouldn’t really drive people to sign up for Spotify. Notice too, that his concern is mainly about new artists, not necessarily big name bands like Radiohead.

  3. Anonymous

    A single is one thing. Let’s see what happens when the full album comes out.

  4. DavidB

    Last time I checked, Radiohead is a band.

  5. Anonymous

    True, but we can be smarter on how we use streaming. I think film is a good analogy. If a movie studio released a movie in theaters, but never make it available on DVD or streaming, they’ll be losing out on a ton of money. If they release a movie on DVD and streaming the same day as in theaters, no one will go to the theaters and they’ll be losing out on a ton of money. In order to maximize revenue, you release it in theaters, wait three months, release it on DVD, wait another six months, and THEN release it on streaming.

    It’s called windowing. It works. Labels should release albums as digital downloads only for 3 months, and only then make them available on streaming. They can force Spotify to do it when it comes time to renew their contracts. Sure, piracy will increase, but at the end of the day, they will still make a hell of a lot more money than if they release it on streaming simultaneously with the digital download version. Plus, it will give publishers time to figure out the publishing rights on those new releases and communicate that information to the streaming services, so all publishing licenses can be in place before they hit streaming, which would (at least partially) solve the problem that’s been brought up in the recent Spotify lawsuits.

    • Anonymous Too


      Radiohead should release their new single (and album) in theaters only, and wait a few months to release it on DVD and then, eventually to the cable networks.

      The analogy is spot-on. Windowing works and there are NO recognizable difference between movies and music, movie consumer and music consumers. None.

  6. Rick Shaw

    Yorke should be used to the steady diet of eating his own words.