A full-blown war is raging over how much musicians are paid by the streaming services that make their songs available over the internet.
Radiohead singer Thom Yorke and Cracker frontman David Lowery have followed Pink Floyd in angrily criticising streaming services for underpaying musicians.
Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no[t] get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it.
In a post on ''ethical internet'' blog The Trichordist, Lowery slammed internet radio service Pandora, claiming to have received only $16.89 from it for over one million plays of the Cracker hit single Low. ''Less than I make from a single T-shirt sale,'' he wrote.
Raging against the machine: Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
Lowery also attacked Pandora for allegedly lobbying the US Congress to change the way royalties are calculated so they have to pay even less.
''Here's an idea. Why doesn't Pandora get off the couch and get an actual business model instead of asking for a handout from congress and artists?'' Lowery called on ''all songwriters'' to make their royalty statements public to ''show the world how terrible webcasting rates are for songwriters''.
Lowery did however earn a rebuke from Pandora, when a company spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter that Lowery's maths was wrong and claiming Pandora "is by far the highest paying form of radio in the world ... For perspective, to reach the exact same audience, Pandora currently pays over 4.5 times more in total royalties than broadcast radio for the same song."
'A question of economic survival': Pink Floyd member Roger Waters. Photo: Reuters
On his tech blog, theunderstatement, Michael DeGusta estimated that Low had actually brought in $1300 for a million plays on Pandora and that Lowery's cut would have been $234.
Still not so flash for the band's biggest song.
Meanwhile Yorke tweeted that he was pulling his solo album The Eraser and the Atoms for Peace record he made with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich from Spotify as a protest against how little the service pays musicians. A tweet from Yorke read: "Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no[t] get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples."
Radiohead's albums remain on Spotify.
Spotify allows an estimated 24 million users – including 2.5 millon paying subscribers – to download music from major labels Universal, Sony, EMI and Warner. It is the world's largest streaming service.
The BBC reported Spotify responding that it is "still in the early stages of a long-term project".
Godrich also weighed in on Twitter: "It's an equation that just doesn't work. The music industry is being taken over by the back door... and if we don't try and make it fair for new music producers and artists... then the art will suffer.
"Make no mistake. These are all the same old industry bods trying to get a stranglehold on the delivery system."
The attacks by Yorke and Lowery follow Pink Floyd's comment piece on USA Today in June, in which Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason criticised Pandora's efforts to reduce royalties to musicians.
''We hope that many online and mobile music services can give fans and artists the music they want, when they want it, at price points that work. But those same services should fairly pay the artists and creators who make the music at the core of their businesses. For almost all working musicians, it's also a question of economic survival. Nearly 90% of the artists who get a check for digital play receive less than $5,000 a year. They cannot afford the 85% pay cut Pandora asked Congress to impose on the music community.''