Controversy

This UK indie band is urging all artists to write 30-second songs. Here’s why.

The Pocket Gods have been on a mission to shame streaming music services (with a focus on Spotify) about low payouts. (It’s true that payouts are low, but all the streamers pay what they’re told by record labels. They do not arbitrarily set their own royalty rates, but let’s put that aside for a moment. We’ll also ignore the fact that a million streams sound big but in reality is tiny when it come to the reach of streaming platforms. But I digress.)

In case you didn’t know, a streamer doesn’t pay out anything until a song runs at least 30 seconds. The Pocket Gods’ position is that if this is the case, why bother writing songs that are longer than 31 seconds. The group has made a career out of this, releasing a bunch of compilations of super-short songs.

There’s now a movie based on the band’s campaign. It’s long–three hours–but it’ll give you an idea of where Pocket Gods stand.

You can also watch the band in action.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38293 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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