The Pocket Gods Take On Spotify With Inspired: The 30 Second Song Movie

The U.K. band of gadflies have turned their Spotify royalty battle into a documentary.

The Pocket Gods don’t waste your time with their new documentary Inspired: The 30 Second Song Movie — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The London band put the cat amongst the pigeons when their efforts to draw attention to what they saw as an inequality in Spotify revenues to artists hit the global headlines. Now their story has been told in a new documentary directed by frontman Mark Christopher Lee.

The film follows the indie band’s campaign to bring change to a broken music streaming system. They have been campaigning since 2015 with a series of albums containg 30-second songs, which culminated in the release earlier this year of their massive 1,000-song offering Nobody Makes Money Anymore.

The idea of the 30-second song began with a newspaper article in which New York music Prof. Mike Errico questioned why songwriters were still writing three-minute pop songs instead of adapting to the streaming media of today — which pays out a royalty after 30 seconds of a stream.

Lee saw this article and was inspired to put 100 30-second songs on an album to get media attention and highlight the lack of fair royalties paid by the likes of Spotify — which paid them £0.007 per stream in 2015, decreased to £0.002 per stream in 2022. They had over 1 million streams in 2022 and received just £250.

Money aside, the band have amassed 11 Guinness World Record for various achievements — the most studio albums released digitally, the most songs on a digital album and the longest officially released song — and gained worldwide media attention, fans from all over the world and even a meeting with Spotify’s head of music. Their campaign culminated this year with the release of their latest LP, of which there is only one copy on sale, on vinyl, in their local record shop for £1 million. With the proceeds, the band will fund their own ethical streaming service Nub Play, which pledges to pay artists at least 1p per stream — 50 times Spotify’s current rate.

Inspired: The 30 Second Song Movie is available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.K. and U.S. Watch the trailer for the film above, hear their music below, visit the band’s Nub Music site HERE, and follow them on Twitter.