Just because Radiohead say “pay what you want” for their album and millions gobble it up doesn’t mean it will do the same for you.
Just because Thom Yorke pulls all his (solo) music from Spotify because he doesn’t think the system is fair to new artists doesn’t mean you should follow suit (ironic given his band along with Nine Inch Nails were two of the main acts instrumental in creating the perception digital downloads had less value than a CD or LP).
While there is definitely truth to the fact that musicians have swapped physical media/analogue dollars for digital streaming cents, it doesn’t mean that there is no benefit to your brand.
If, like Thom Yorke, you have millions of fans following your every move, then removing your music from Spotify will barely register as a blip. Your fans will still find a way to listen to your music and will clamour for tickets next time you’re playing in their town.
But if you are nothing like Thom Yorke, then you need to think about how best to get your product – your music – into the market and leverage every opportunity to get it there. True, your Spotify royalties may not amount to more than a few dollars a quarter, but how much were you making before this?
As the saying goes, your mileage will vary. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for your b(r)and, not blindly hop on the bandwagon just because someone famous says it’s right.