Spotify convinced Metallica, and Mumford’s singing Spotify’s praises. So why can’t they convince the other biggest superstars in the world?
The question comes as the head of Taylor Swift’s label, Big Machine Records, has made the decision to withhold all new releases from Spotify. In fact, CEO Scott Borchetta seems convinced that Spotify deserves the Netflix treatment, just like television and movies. This somehow got buried in all the noise, but here’s what Borchetta told Rolling Stone on the matter prior to withholding Red.
“We’re not putting the brand-new releases on Spotify. Why shouldn’t we learn from the movie business? They have theatrical releases, cable releases. There are certain tiers. If we just throw out everything we have, we’re done.”
This is now a label-wide philosophy, one potentially copied by others. Earlier, Borchetta explained the Swift holdout on simple financial terms, noting that the payouts just didn’t make sense for a front-line, high-demand release. And weeks later, the numbers on Swift continue to support that assessment. According to current Nielsen Soundscan data forward to Digital Music News by a major label executive, Swift’s Red just regained its number one slot this week on healthy sales of 167,000 units. That’s a cumulative sales number of 2.4 million in a matter of weeks, with sales like to push solidly into the three million range by year-end.
In other words, one of the best-selling releases of the entire year. And, one of the most glaring gaps on Spotify right now.
Other Big Machine artists include Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Edens Edge, and Reba McEntire (on the Valory imprint; complete roster here).