Prior to the release of her album “1989,” Taylor Swift pulled all of her music from the online music service Spotify stating that the service devalues artists’ work.
Swift cites the reasoning for removing her music as thinking the artists should get paid or paid more for their work. Swift’s album went on to sell 1.3 million copies during its first week on store shelves.
From a business standpoint this makes a lot of sense for Swift. Spotify does offer listeners music for free, and in exchange users have to sit through a 30-second ad every once in a while. Fair trade. But the artists don’t see a lot of that revenue and some, like Swift, demand more in royalties. By pulling her catalogue from Spotify, Swift is forcing people into purchasing her music. Again this is a smart business move because it means Swift’s paycheck will only add more zeros, but I think it shows that she cares more about a paycheck than she does the listener.
Some bands like Death Grips or The xx release their music for free and seek exposure or a wider fan base. T-Swizzle only seems interested in earning the almighty dollar from her fan base, and I agree artists should be paid for their work. Where I disagree is that removing your music from a service like Spotify seems like it will only hurt your chances of increasing your fan base. Making your music available only through purchasing or piracy usually leads to an increase in one and not the other.
Swift still sold more copies of her new album in one week than any other album this year and is on track to become the biggest album of the year despite the Spotify removal. I still think this move will only lead to more people pirating her album rather than purchasing it. Even to write my review of “1989” I had to listen to the leaked version of the album then a bootleg CD copy later on to finish my review. Every other review I’ve written thus far has been listened to via Spotify or Soundcloud.
This isn’t some petty platform to say everyone needs to boycott Swift’s music or they need to support Spotify during this tiff the two are going through. It just upsets me that this day in music age where any song can be available at the click of a button or a Google search, we still have some artists who aren’t about the music and act like they only want a bigger paycheck.
Spotify has been working to rectify the situation by adding a playlist titled “What to Play While Taylor’s Away.” The playlist should keep those who didn’t purchase Swift’s latest effort happy until she returns.
I don’t condemn Swift for a smart business move. I’m upset that she and other artists like Jason Aldean treat the music industry more like a business now; it would seem that payday is more important than fans.