Back in 2013, long before Taylor Swift declared war on Spotify, Thom Yorke pulled all of his non-Radiohead work (including Atoms for Peace) off the streaming site. “Make no mistake, new artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid,” he explained in a tweet. He later poetically referred to music-streaming “gatekeepers” like Spotify as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse.” He warned, “What happens next is the important part.” What happened next, as we now know, was even more streaming platforms like Tidal and Apple Music adding their names to the already-crowded industry. But while Yorke was unfazed by Tidal, it seems Apple Music is another story. When Apple’s new music venture went live on Tuesday, it included albums from Thom Yorke’s solo catalogue as well as Radiohead’s In Rainbows, Stereogum discovered. Right now on his artist page, you’ll find 2006’s The Eraser and 2014’s BitTorrent-released Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, along with Atoms for Peace’s Amok.
The reasoning behind the decision isn’t immediately clear: Apple Music pays artists just as poorly as the competitors Yorke has previously claimed to loathe. With between 73 to 71 percent of its total revenue going to music-rights owners, it’s just slightly better than Spotify’s 70 percent rate in the U.S.. But during the three-month free trial, the New York Times reports that artists will only see $0.002 per stream (music publishers will get roughly $0.00047 per stream). According to Spotify, it pays artists between $0.006 and $0.0084 per stream across its tiers. The Wall Street Journal notes that Apple Music’s pay-per-stream rate is expected to improve once the trial period ends and paid subscriptions kick in. But for now, Yorke is still getting paid “fuck all” for streaming his music.