Merely a week after pop superstar Taylor Swift officially dropped her new album, “1989“, the same one in which she initially surprised fans with in August, she has sent another shock through our systems.
The singer-songwriter, who has always been outspoken about singers valuing their music by saying no to low-royalty streaming services, hasn’t been too keen on sharing her music with Spotify. For starters, in 2012, she held off on allowing Spotify to stream her album, “Red“. And recently, we found that “1989” wasn’t on the service. Why, you ask?
In July, she explained her problem with streaming music services in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:
In my opinion, the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace. Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently. Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.
So how much do Spotify artists actually make? Artists earn on average less than one cent per play, between $0.006 and $0.0084, to be exact, according to Spotify Artists, a website that explains the service to artists.
To that effect, Taylor Swift’s entire catalogue of music, save for one song, has been yanked from the streaming service at her request:
The move comes as a big blow to the service, which was already licking its wounds after being cut out of the rollout last week for Swift’s new album “1989”, which is expected to sell over 1 million copies in its first week on sale.
In a blog post dated Monday (3rd Nov), Spotify AB said it regretted the artiste’s move and added that it hoped Ms. Swift would “change her mind”. The statement reads:
We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more – nearly 16 million of them have played her songs in the last 30 days, and she’s on over 19 million playlists.
We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.
PS – Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.
That having said, let’s not forget that not all hope is lost just yet, Swifties! Her music is still available on other platforms because it appears that Google Play, iTunes, Pandora, and Rdio are still carrying Taylor Swift’s tunes.