Business
5:58 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Silent Tracks Earn Indie Band $20,000 In Royalties

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: silence is golden.

An indie band in Michigan recently made an odd request of its fans.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The band Vulfpeck uploaded an album on the Spotify music site called "Sleepify." It contained 30-second tracks of silence. They encourage fans to keep playing the silence while they sleep. This is meant to earn royalties. Spotify pays a fraction of a penny each time a song is played, and the same apparently, with hitting play on silence.

INSKEEP: So it was an album of nothing. The scheme worked. The band made $20,000 in royalties, enough to finance a tour with free admission for fans.

MONTAGNE: But the streaming service asked the band remove the album, claiming that it violates Spotify's terms of content.

INSKEEP: Apparently, meaning that the content is actually supposed to contain content.

Breaking the silence daily, it's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.