UK Indie band The Pocket Gods have been campaigning for fairer royalties from Spotify since 2015 by releasing a series of 30 second song albums to highlight the issues involved. Spotify pays out a royalty in full after 30 seconds so The Pocket Gods decided as the royalty was so small they might as well just write 30 second songs!
Their last album 1000X30 Nobody Makes Money Anymore had ONE THOUSAND! songs on - each one just 30 seconds long! The album gained them press and fans all around the world, as well as a Guinness World Records, but front person Mark Christopher Lee says;
"It's great we've had nearly 2 million streams of this album but all we have earned for this from Spotify is £400. It's pretty scandalous to be honest. Something needs to be done. The reality is as well it's only going to get worse this year with Spotify introducing a minimum threshold of 1000 listeners before an artist gets paid."
Front person Lee is a voting member of the Recording Academy (The Grammys) in the US and also a member of BPI (British Phonographic Industry) who are being The Brit Awards in the UK. However he adds:
"I shan't be going to the Grammys or The Brits as the whole music industry is basically in denial that there is a problem. As long as the major label artists are raking in billions of streams they're just taking the money and not worries about the long term future of the new and upcoming artists. We're back in the 90's again when the internet first came along and the music industry failed to adapt. Streaming is great but it needs with the help of the music industry to evolve to a new fairer sustainable level."
The Pocket Gods formed in 1998 at Tower Records in London and have released 77 albums and over 5,000 songs in total and gaining high profile champions like Tom Robinson and Seymour Stein along the way.
The band have released a film about their campaign called Inspired The 30 Second Song Movie and it's out now on Amazon Prime.