UK indie group The Pocket Gods decided to protest Spotify’s royalty rates for artists with 1000X30 – Nobody Makes Money Anymore, an album that, as the title indicates, consists of 1,000 songs that all run for about 30 seconds. Spotify actually caught wind of the project and have since changed some part of how they do things.
Pocket Gods leader Mark Christopher Lee was inspired to take on the project by a 2015 article from The Independent, which ponders the future of music given that royalties are paid on a Spotify stream after a track has been played for at least 30 seconds.
“I saw the article and it made me think, ‘Why write longer songs when we get paid little enough for just 30 seconds,” Lee told i News. He continued, “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.”
He also noted his band earns about £0.002 (about a quarter of a US cent) from each Spotify stream of their songs.
The project was first presented earlier this month and Spotify has been paying attention, as Lee now says he was invited to meet with Spotify’s head of artist relations. He said that since the release of the album, the streaming platform has changed one of its rules: “Spotify said we’re ahead of the curve as shorter songs are the future — just look at TikTok. They said that I can pitch 30-second tracks to their playlists for consideration — I wasn’t able to do this previously as the songs were considered too short. So next week I’m releasing a 30-second single called ‘Noel Gallagher Is Jealous Of My Studio.'”
Lee says he was also told songwriters would see increased pay rates when Spotify rolls out an increase in its subscription price.
Hot Press notes The Pocket Gods are used to dropping atypical sorts of albums like this: They’ve released 74 albums since 1998, multiple of which have over 100 tracks.