Taylor Swift Removes Her Entire Catalog from Spotify…

taylorswiftspotify

Taylor Swift’s latest album, 1989, is about to sell 1.3 million units in its first week, according to the latest US-based projections.  That’s the best-selling first-week for any album since 2002, and potentially the largest-selling first week for any female artist.

1989 hasn’t been available on Spotify, which is proof enough for Swift and her management agency that Spotify is hurting, not helping, sales.

As of this morning, Swift has pulled all of her albums from Spotify.  The only track still available is ‘Safe & Sound,’ licensed separately as part of the Hunger Games Soundtrack.


The pullout follows a long string of ‘windowed’ withholdings by Swift, in which the artist gave priority, first-release access to better-paying platforms like iTunes and physical outlets like Target.  That has motivated other artists to do the same on newer releases, with most licensing their older recordings for streaming.

The pullout of everything, old and new, is a major shift from that ‘windowing’ approach.  Swift’s decision may have been motivated by mixed feelings on piracy.  “Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently,” Swift expressed in a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.

“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.”

There’s some chatter that this is a negotiating tactic by Swift’s management group, Big Machine, to force Spotify to offer more money to the superstar.  Either way, the damage may already be rippling towards other artists, particularly superstars seeking to stem heavy revenue losses from streaming.  Those artists may decide that complete pullouts are also necessary, either to force better payouts from Spotify or to maximize recording revenues from places like iTunes.

In response, Spotify has issued a public plea to keep the artist on the platform.

spotifystatement

More as it develops.

110 Responses

  1. David

    As of now (17.00 GMT in the UK), Taylor Swift’s albums (except of course for 1989) are still available on rara.com (in the UK, anyway). Rara.com is a paid-subscription-only service, so the pay-per-stream must be higher than on Spotify, but I don’t know if this is why they are still available. Someone might check Deezer and Rdio?
    So for now we don’t know if this is a reaction to streaming services is general, or specifically to the freemium model. Or indeed specifically to Spotify. When it was noticed that 1989 was not on Spotify, some Spotify lackey issued a statement implying that Taylor Swift had better fall in line, or else those nasty pirates would get her. Which is pretty much the basis of Spotify’s business model.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “Or indeed specifically to Spotify”

      One thing’s for sure: Spotify’s uber pathetic whining doesn’t help.

      How many “We love [insert artist] so please come back and give us your money”-notes have we seen so far…

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        AND IT’S OFFICIAL — WINDOWING IS AWESOME, SPOTIFY IS USELESS!

        1989 debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the largest sales week for an album since 2002!!!

        1989 sold 1.287 million copies in the week ending Nov. 2, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          Second-best release week this year (Coldplay) was also a Spotify holdout.

          Beginning to see a pattern here?

          Reply
    • hippydog

      Her entire catalog (except anything that was on a compilation) is removed from Deezer Canada..

      Reply
  2. Taylorman

    not taylor but her label did this.

    but it makes no sense to remove old albums to push sales of the new album…

    anyway… nobody needs taylor outside the states.

    she’s just another katy, britney, carly, …

    Reply
    • agraham999

      It actually makes quite a bit of sense. If her new album spikes in sales it will likely have a halo effect on her older work, as people will discover past albums and songs they may like based on the new album. In fact three of her past albums are already back in the iTunes 200 Top albums. I expect you’ll likely see this strategy occurring from now on with certain large acts…release and pull and then put it back on Spotify after sales die down. It’s very clever.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “I expect you’ll likely see this strategy occurring from now on with certain large acts”

        So, only large acts like to sell records? 🙂

        Reply
        • agraham999

          No but windowing won’t work for small emerging acts or bands with a smaller following or a small catalogue.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            “windowing won’t work for small emerging acts”

            Completely false — it works beautifully as soon as you have one fan!

            And it’s very easy to get fans today if your music is any good!

            Here’s what you do:

            Upload your non-cannibalizing previews, interviews and behind-the-scenes videos to any video streaming service — it doesn’t have to be YouTube anymore — and embed the content in your tweets, along with your iTunes links.

            Done!

            But I don’t think you’re familiar with windowing yet, so please allow me to repeat my little crash course on the concept:

            Most acts — large or small — sell most of their music during the first weeks and months after release.

            If you give your songs away during this critical period, you will suffer a certain amount of cannibalization (people don’t buy your music because they can get it for free without breaking any laws). Nobody knows the exact ratio, but you would lose money even if it were as low as 1 to 100 (it takes 100-140 Spotify streams to balance the loss of 1 sold song). And nobody claims the ratio is that low.

            So a lot of smart people thought about this for a while, and the smartest among them — people like Beyoncé, Adele, Coldplay, Black Keys, Daft Punk, Taylor Swift and their teams — realized that windowing was the way to go:

            Windowing comes in all shapes and sizes, but it generally means that you keep your property away from Spotify, or similar services, during the most critical period in the lifespan of a record — and that you make it available on these services as soon as sales begin to drop.

            That’s how artists make money today.

            But let’s face it:

            Nobody has experiented more with streaming and windowing than Taylor Swift, and we should all listen very carefully when she says that removal is even better than windowing.

          • FarePlay

            Absolutely agree. Having a hit on Spotify or Youtube is like having a meteor hit your house and the entire family walks out alive. Oh, and while were at it, the meteor set off an oil gusher on your property.

            Let’s be honest here, few artists have the talent to make it, but those who do will be found and sought out. Not everyone blows up like Taylor Swift, many artists build small followings over time and you need to maximize revenue from every fan.

            I learned a great deal about free from the latest U2 record. For me, I just don’t have the same interest in listening to it as do other music I’ve purchased over the past few weeks. I can’t even explain it and I don’t even understand it, but that’s my reality and I’m not making it to make a point in this comment.

          • GGG

            When was the last time you dealt with small acts? I’m assuming never, but certainly not in the last decade. You really need to stop acting like you have any clue how that world works. You’re a mainstream pop songwriter who gives zero shits about emerging acts.

            Windowing makes 0 difference for the vast majority of small DIY/indie acts. I know this because I work with and/or know bands that have windowed Spotify and sold between 5-10K records first week, and bands that HAVE released on spotify and sold 5-10K records first week, and bands that have windowed and sold hardly anything, and bands that released on Spotify and sold hardly anything, and bands that released on Spotify and got 200 plays, and bands that released on Spotify and got 200K plays, etc etc. Acts at that level are still infinitely more at the mercy of their PR and people actually giving a shit enough to even listen to them, whether it’s a purchase or a stream or a YT view.

            I’m all for windowing when you get to a next level, but hiding your music behind a pay well when you’re a nobody is terrible advice. At best you’ll make $100 from your band’s moms.

          • Anonymous

            GGG — The Defender of Small Acts & Streaming Fat Cats.

          • GGG

            GOOD small acts, yes. Shitty ones, hell no.

            Fat cats? No. I could not care less if Spotify was run by Ek or your mother. But I’m sure you only buy goods/services from companies with unflinchingly ethical CEOs. I’d say enjoy your burlap sack, but even the burlap sack industry is probably filled with dickheads.

          • Anonymous

            Business is what it is, but Mr. Ek is something else.

            What do you think of his latest blackmail attempt? Here it is again in all its Mafia style:

            “We believe fans should be able to listen to music where and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy.”

            This is a declaration of war. Against you and me and everybody who works with music.

            Not only does he try to turn Ms. Swift’s fans against her; he also has the nerve to suggest that Spotify — itself created by the CEO of a piracy site — protects against… wait for it:

            Piracy.

            I’ve never seen anything more hilarious or wrong.

            Ms. Swift and lots of other acts literally prove that millions of fans pay for the music they love when they can’t get it for free on Spotify.

            Spotify is beyond unethical; it deliberately tries to destroy the music industry in order to save itself.

            I hope everybody will remove their songs in sympathy with Ms. Swift.

          • GGG

            I know people, and have seen plenty of people talk about, how they don’t pirate anymore because of Spotify.

            There was a thread on reddit a while back that got thousands and thousands of up votes, which are basically people agreeing, that said just that.

            And yea yea, I know, you don’t care what pirates or former pirates do or say, that’s fine, really. But it’s still happening to a moderate degree.

  3. Taylorman

    makes no sense to remove old albums to push the new one.

    anyway, nobody needs/knows here outside us/uk.

    she’s just another britney, carly, katy, …

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “makes no sense”

      On the contrary — Ms. Swift has experimented with streaming and windowing for years and has now reached her conclusion.

      It doesn’t work.

      We should all thank her. This is a beautiful gift to all music lovers across the world.

      There is only one way to finance artist development and production of the new songs we all want to hear.

      Selling records.

      And there’s only one way to make a living from streaming: Start a streaming service.

      Reply
  4. FarePlay

    Taylor Swift with 46 million followers on Twitter, I guess the word is going to get out on this one.

    Any artist that is willing to say “NO” to a bad deal has my respect. Artists need to realize that they do have the power and that exposure, while having value, guarantees nothing. Being one of hundreds of thousands of artists on Spotify is meaningless for most.

    Great music has value and is not created just to sell advertising for somebody else.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “Taylor Swift with 46 million followers on Twitter, I guess the word is going to get out on this one.”

      Yes, expect lots of copycats! (And perhaps some Katycats?)

      For once, copying another artist’s idea is totally OK. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Minneapolis Musician

    I suspect that for a while streaming will be for those who are trying to gain a following. Once artists gain that secure following, they will stop streaming and start selling.

    Eventually though, it’ll be all streaming.

    Reply
  6. There is something...

    Obviously, she thinks her “art” is worth 0.99$ for a full album on Microsoft’s store. If that’s the life after Spotify, I don’t think it’s what we may have been dreaming of…

    Reply
    • FarePlay

      didn’t I fill you in on this already? They call this a branding deal usually where the artist get’s paid a lot of money to drive traffic to a site. I think Microsoft can afford it. And in another context you would call this a Win / Win scenario, because you’re focussed on the consumer getting a great deal and streaming companies being successful,

      Isn’t that something?

      Reply
      • There is something...

        I have no worry about her making money. But if her goal is to show music has value, then it’s an epic fail. Because the consumer will just remember an album worth 0.99$, no more.

        Reply
        • FarePlay

          Not at all Houdini. Free is the moniker of valueless, people realize why they are only paying $.99 for this release. but then again you would have had to pay for music or whatever you pay for to understand the psychology.

          Reply
          • GGG

            And weren’t you against U2 for doing this same thing? Or does 99 cents an ok value for an album to you?

          • FarePlay

            I have on multiple occassions on this post. Stop wasting our time and apologize for your ignorance.

          • GGG

            Actually, you just state that you think it’s a fair marketing trade off to get people to buy the album. My question is different, as it specifically pertains to the 99cents. So U2 making a deal and giving (forcing) it away is bad, but TS making a deal and giving it away for 99 cents is good? How is a full album for 99 cents adding value to anything? Aren’t you all about fair value to art? An album is only worth 99 cents to you?

          • FarePlay

            “So U2 making a deal and giving (forcing) it away is bad, but TS making a deal….. for 99 cents is good?”

            You used the words “give it away” for $.99. So first you have a comprehension problem. “Give it Away” and charging $.99 does not make sense. You either give something away or you charge for it.

            This is what’s known as a discount promotion, where the client, Microsoft, is paying the artist, Taylor Swift, to help promote their APP that requires people to download their APP onto their hard drive. Anyone, but you apparently, would look at this as promotion, therefore the price is perceived differently than just $.99 by the consumer.

            Actually I think you know this, unfortunately you’ll say anything to make your point, even when you have none. Like here.

            Back to U2. Aside from giving it away to quote you “forcing” the offer on iTunes customer was a bad move. Why they didn’t simply offer it as a free download where customers clicked on it in the iTunes store or had a promo code would have saved them a lot of headaches.

            The word free and music are nearly synonymous now thanks to piracy and services like Spotify. And it is a very hard climb back from free.

          • GGG

            Funny. Yea, I’ll say anything to make a point, yet you arguing semantics about a colloquialism that makes perfect sense in context is totally fine. You’re a joke. What have you actually done for any artist in recent memory? Posted a new link to your Facebook page? Wrote some crummy article? Wow man. Really changing the game.

  7. Catalyst

    Labels, make this even bigger: remove your catalogs from Spotify this week!!

    Reply
    • David

      I think (see my comment above) this is a reaction specifically to Spotify’s bullying tactics. Spotify need to learn that insulting and threatening artists is not the way to go. Taylor Swift is one of the few artists who can tell Spotify to take a running jump at a donut.

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        There are a some complexities surrounding this, though I’d agree that Spotify’s attitude can be extremely inflexible at times. For example, Adele wanted to limit her album’s access to paying subscribers only, to ensure a higher payout rate. Spotify refused, leading to a nearly two year window on 21 (need to look up the actual delay time).

        But there’s another wrinkle here. Because if Spotify grants that to Adele, they have to grant that to every artist, which lowers their value proposition to the consumer. So they said no, betting that one artist wouldn’t rain on their parade (I think they were right in that calculation).

        But Swift is different. Other artists will follow here, realizing that one of the most successful, strategic artists doesn’t think the math makes sense. I’d expect other dominos to fall, very soon.

        Lastly, keep in mind that superstar artists are stepping forward to demand higher payouts from their labels, who are notorious for squirreling away royalties for themselves. A high-profile, important artist will demand a certain amount, with calculations largely divorced from actual plays and streaming valuations, and get that as a condition for playing along and sticking with Spotify.

        That’s according to my sources, who’ve been right so far.

        Reply
        • There is something...

          I’m sorry Paul but, since when artists have a say on where their music is being sold or streamed ? Once they signed their music to a label, it’s all the label’s decision. An artists can’t remove any music from any service, only the label can. So it’s a question of what are the labels willing to do. It’s a damn big gamble, with Youtube and Apple services on the horizon… Unless of course if there is some exclusive deal that we don’t know yet. And that wouldn’t surprise me…

          Reply
          • David

            Taylor Swift is overwhelmingly the biggest artist on her label, and reportedly her parents part-own it. So I think we can be confident that she and her family are right behind this move.

          • FarePlay

            There IS something. We both/all know the major labels have equity deals with Spotify. Is it just possible that a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars for each equity partner could possibly:

            A. Influenced the deal terms and the actual signing of the original deal.

            B. Incentivized the labels to stay out of the way of harming their investment.

            What are you thoughts on that?

          • There is something...

            My thoughts on that is: major labels are happy with their deal, because they make a ton of cash from it, money they don’t have to share with artists because contracts are made so they don’t have to. Knowing that, I doubt major are willing to see anything change anytime soon. Artists who have enough power to “force” their label to pull their music off streaming are very, very few. Also, Youtube and iTunes streaming will have far, far more leverage than Spotify or Deezer, making the power balance less favorable to labels imho. As I said, I wouldn’t be surprised that, behind the scene, TS team is in fact negotiating for some kind of exclusivity deal with Apple or Google. Hey, I would I was in her shoes !

  8. Anonymous

    ADDNEDUM:

    Good look for her, as someone non major affiliated, minus the stupid distribution which they dont need, and needing to reclaim her image, she shouldn’t be in bed with those heinous criminals currently engaging in incredible amounts of unfinished unreleased unpublished property THEFT protected by copyright in legal monetary jurisdictions.

    forgot to add the theft part! lulz

    Reply
  9. mg

    … yet her music videos are all still on VEVO/YouTube (all of which can be viewed for “free”) and generating many thousands of dollars for her label.

    Reply
  10. DNog

    Good on her, streaming is worse than piracy in my opinion. At least with piracy you know you are stealing…the fog cloud that streaming has put the music industry in is overwhelming…under valuing music so blatantly and convincing people it’s the saving grace of the industry. “We pay out so it’s okay.”

    Reply
  11. Yep

    Good news!

    If she could remove it from all other stores as well that would be great!

    Reply
    • David

      No it isn’t, and it wasn’t when I first checked it about six hours ago either.

      Reply
  12. Lob Befsetz

    “Taylor Swift Pulls Her Music From Spotify”: http://on.wsj.com/1wZneqI

    This is about money.

    Not in the album, that’s bupkes compared to the tour!

    In other words, Taylor Swift is not selling a million plus albums this week to get rich on the sales, but to get rich on the penumbra. I.e. the tours, the endorsements, all the tchotchkes and change that come to the doorstep of America’s most successful pop star. It’s about the publicity, baby, and who cares if anybody streams her music on Spotify.

    Spat, schmat. What we’ve learned in music is early adopters pay a price. That you’re best off waiting for others to blaze the trail and then walking through the door and getting all the money. It’s kind of like that joke about the baby bull and the papa bull and the cows down in the meadow…those who run get less.

    Streaming has won, if you’re talking about how people listen to recorded music. According to the RIAA, “These streaming services contributed 27% of total industry revenues in 1H 2014, compared with 20% for 1H 2013. The growth in revenues from streaming services offset the entire decline in revenues from permanent downloads for the first half of 2014.” (They define streaming as including not only Spotify and its ilk, but SiriusXM and Pandora and YouTube and…”Streaming music services grew 28% in the first half of 2014 to $859 million, versus $673 million for 1H 2013.” http://bit.ly/1ysNg8S) So Taylor Swift cannot turn back the hands of time, but she doesn’t want to (at least not financially, as she herself has declared, her new album is retro).

    So there’s no story here. Other than one that can be trumped up by the media to further burnish Taylor’s career/money-making machine. The facts don’t matter, whether she had a spat with Spotify or not. The truth is Taylor Swift owns the news cycle, and he who reaches the most people wins today.

    So on one hand we’ve got Ms. Swift. Whose scorched earth publicity campaign will end up putting the weekly sales crown on her head, the only 2014 debut to sell platinum in one week. If that’s a statistic that tickles your fancy, you seem to have forgotten what ‘N Sync achieved fifteen years ago. But that was a different era. One in which MTV still mattered, however briefly thereafter, most people did not have broadband and we knew and cared who was number one, we were living in a monoculture.

    But today we live in a multifarious world where we come together on so few things. Taylor Swift is a rallying point, someone we can talk about, but it’s got nothing to do with her music and everything to do with the publicity. Selling a million copies a week in a country of a million people is a blip on the radar screen, but owning the news cycle, even trumping the World Series, is priceless.

    As for Spotify…

    Acts come and go, institutions remain.

    How long a career will Taylor Swift have? She can tour until she drops, as to whether people will care about her new music…

    Does anybody care about Bob Seger’s new music? The Luddite finally on iTunes and not on Spotify? Absolutely not. At some point the zeitgeist passes you by.

    But Taylor Swift owns the zeitgeist this week.

    But Spotify owns the zeitgeist in the future.

    You might think it’s Taylor Swift’s world and we only live in it, but the truth is it’s streaming music’s world and we not only live in it, we love it!

    Reply
    • Chris H

      Seger, The Luddite, didn’t join because his fan base has been buying his albums from the likes of Amazon, in metric tons moved, since the dawn of the Soundscan era. That doesn’t sound like “catching the Zeigeist”. I wouldn’t either if I had a honey hole delivering bank loads of cash to me for decades.

      People who ignore the basics of the business are doomed never to have any success in it.

      Reply
    • FarePlay

      Hey guy with the funny name. What you got? Divine intervention, a crystal ball into the future. You talk about destiny and the ignorance of the disbelievers like a……

      Reply
      • GGG

        Seriously? Again? Do the research. Please. Look at the last 100 promoted iTunes releases. And show us all how Spotify is a museum.

        Reply
        • FarePlay

          You and Jw and Something have been very quiet all day. Is what happened today finally sink in at Spotify or is Goldman Sachs getting spooked?

          Reply
          • GGG

            Sorry, was busy today booking the final leg of a tour, licensing 3 songs, and finalizing a sponsorship deal. So you can keep thinking I work for Spotify I guess, but know that puts you in the same company as Yves Villenueve who thought I was all sorts of people.

            But also, since Anon won’t do the work but you seem to agree with him, how about you do it? Go to the iTunes store, look at the last 100 prominent releases and see how many windowed. You can say all the ones that didn’t are stupid for all I care, doesn’t have to mean you support Spotify all of a sudden. But if you guys keep being unnecessarily stubborn about how much new music is on there, I think that shows how stubborn you’ll be about all sorts of things…

          • FarePlay

            Never seen it before. You are always Johnny on the spot carrying the flag for Spotify. Really GGG you and the rest of the Spotify can club are entirely suspect in your unwavering support for a corporation and failure to identify yourself or the nearly successful acts you allegedly represent.

            You expect us to respect your opinions, when you lack the conviction to own them yourself? Stop wasting my time, sonny.

          • GGG

            I don’t know how many times I have to tell you it’s only about Spotfy because they are the biggest. If Deezer comes and steamrolls through the US, I’ll jump on that train. It’s about streaming, not any specific company. I’ve said this to you like 20 times in the last year.

          • Scott

            Anyone on the Internet can claim anything at anytime. So please, tell us who you did all this great work for? Otherwise it’s all pure bs.

          • GGG

            So don’t believe me, really doesn’t matter to me.

            But you realize you can do those things for any level of act, right?. I’m not claiming to be booking an arena tour and landing tracks in the Hunger Games soundtrack. If you know how to use the internet/email/phone and are not a complete dumbass, you can do all that shit, too. Try it!

          • FarePlay

            Do you have any idea how stupid and unintentionally self-deprecating you are? This is classic:

            “I’m not claiming to be booking an arena tour and landing tracks in the Hunger Games soundtrack.”

            In the sentence above you are actually claiming that you’re not at the level of booking arena shows and placing your artists’ songs on the Hunger Games soundtrack, then you’re telling ‘Scott’ that any “dumbass” could do that.

            “If you know how to use the internet/email/phone and are not a complete dumbass, you can do all that shit, too. Try it!”

            Classic, dude.

          • GGG

            Uh..actually that was intentional. I’ve never claimed to be some bigwig. People on here just seem to automatically equate me doing normal stuff for bands to me claiming I’m making people hundreds of thousands of dollars or something. He seemed to think I was trying to brag that I was booking some massive national tour and getting $50K sync deals, when in reality you can book a tour, license a song and get a sponsor for a band that started 10 minutes ago if you know what you’re doing. “All that shit” was referring to doing that stuff, obviously not an arena tour and hunger games.

            Not sure why I felt the need to clarify that, since I’m sure you’re the only complete moron on this site to not understand it, but I guess I’m feeling helpful. But yes, even a dumbass like you can call up a bunch of promoters and book a tour. Time consuming but really not that hard. You should get into it and actually do someone constructive for bands you claim to support so much for a change.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t see how this will help. Withholding her new album is one thing. Removing her old albums is quite another.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Well, it goes without saying that you increase your value each time you remove content from a free service.

        Reply
    • Anonymous

      “So this could be a simple move to increase valuation.”

      Increase valuation — stay away from Spotify! 🙂

      Reply
  13. jw

    It’s very impressive how Swift’s team has choreographed the release of this album. She’s certainly come into her own with this whole Sixpence meets Kanye thing or whatever, & every event that lead up to the release was pretty flawlessly executed. At this point they have everyone in the palm of their hand. This album was well on it’s way to a successful launch regardless of Spotify… I wonder what effect it’s really going to have. I mean, clearly, it takes more than just windowing to sell 1.3m in a week. The real reason the album is doing so well is the campaign they’ve run since the Aug 18 live stream announcement.

    Certainly, this is a great choice for monetizing this record, same as U2 partnering with Apple. But these types of creative launches & exclusive deals aren’t available to every artist. And even for elite artists who bring something to the table, these deals are going to start delivering diminishing returns. You can only go to the well so many times, we’ve seen that with tv commercial placements. Ultimately, artists like Taylor have the option to do what’s best for them, or they can take the hit, share a little of the wealth, & help to build a digital music economy that works for everyone, not just the artists with a perfectly planned, multi-million dollar, ten week, scorched earth marketing campaign promoting their release. And I’m not hating here… we’re all capitalists & she’s earned every dollar she brings in. But it’s easy for her to say what she thinks the value of her music is… it’s disingenuous for her to act as if she’s defining some model that’s going to be practical industry-wide going forward. She’s advocating the ’90s model, where record labels tell you what you can listen to, & spend loads of money on production & marketing in hopes for a huge payoff. And sure, everyone loves Taylor right now, but consumers don’t want to return to that model. The genie is out of the bottle.

    I’m just not sure that what’s good for Taylor & what’s good for Big Machine is necessarily good for the recorded music industry.

    Reply
      • jw

        Well I pay $10/mo for Beats & all of her records are still on there, except for 1989. So I’m not out in the cold, in case you’re concerned.

        But it certainly sends a mixed message that the $10/mo I pay for Spotify doesn’t get me anything.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          jw, did you hear the news?

          Your fellow pirates Gottfrid Warg AND Fredrik Neij — the creeps who started the pirate bay — are back in jail!

          Both of them!

          How awesome is that! Warg was sentenced 3.5 years last week and they finally caught Neij in Thailand yesterday!

          So, who’s next?

          You?

          Yeah, I know, you probably think they’ll never get you. But guess what — that’s what Neij used to say. 🙂

          Reply
        • FarePlay

          Weak. That the best you can you do to discredit my comment, use a racist slur and celebrate your lack of experience and wisdom on this planet?

          Reply
          • GGG

            Time out. Are you REALLY calling his use of the phrase “dad joke” racist. Jesus christ man, that is the pussiest example of playing the victim card I’ve ever seen. Wow, you are such a tool…

          • Anonymous

            FarePlay might be literally Hitler. We can’t know for sure.

  14. Anonymous

    If Mr. Ek thinks artists should be paid, then why was he the CEO of µTorrent (a pirate bay type of site)?

    Artists should have left him years ago…

    Reply
    • PiratesWinLOL

      It is actually not a site, but a bittorrent client. As such it has nothing more to do with piracy than for example Firefox, mIRC, FileZilla or any other program which can be used to transfer information over the internet.

      It is a terrible program though, as it include optional malware. A better alternative would be Deluge , but thats another subject to discuss.

      Reply
  15. RIAA 2014 first half report

    FROM RIAA 2014 1H REPORT

    2014 streaming music revenue estimate:

    1H = $859 mil
    2H = $859 mil x 28% increase = $1100 mil

    full year 2014 = $859M + $1100M = $1959 million

    2014 download music revenue estimate:

    1H = $1.3 billion
    2H = $1.3 billion x 88% (12% decline) = $1.144 billion

    full year 2014 = $2.444 billion

    Like it or not, streaming revenue will surpass ALL DOWNLOAD REVENUE sometimes in 2015.

    Reply
    • FarePlay

      You must be kidding. You’re telling us that destroying a lonce ucrative business for artists and replacing it with a much lower revenue business that supports corporations while trashing the earning power of individuals is a positive outcome?

      You either work for a VC firm or simply an idiot

      Reply
  16. XX

    It’s not a Spotify issue but a streaming industry issue.
    Her 1989 album(s) are available for download only – windowing release schedule.
    Her back catalogue has been pulled from –
    1 – ALL ad-supported services
    2 – interactive services.eg Spotify et al
    Still available in all non-interactive streaming services eg Pandora et al

    The customer is showing that streaming growth is on the up whilst downloads is decreasing (even iTunes) so this could be one of the last occasions to try and force the issue.
    The alternative is piracy which already has her albums up for free use (if you know where to look)

    It’s a very confused industry at the moment impacting many stakeholders including the customer who ultimately pays!

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “The alternative is piracy”

      Oh please, not that old Spotify lie again. 🙂

      Ms. Swift, Beyoncé, Adele, etc. prove that millions of fans buy their music when it isn’t available for free on Spotify.

      Reply
    • David

      Her back catalog is still on rara.com (a paid-only on-demand service) . I can’t check if it is on Rdio or Deezer, but I have seen reports that it is available to their paid subscribers. ( Rdio used to be subscriber-only, except for trial periods or ‘radio’ users, but I think it now has a free option.) Despite all the news articles on the withdrawal from Spotify, no journalists seem to have checked the general position. It would make some sense for Swift to stream exclusively to paying users, where the royalty rate is much better. It would be interesting to know if this was proposed to Spotify. Reportedly they have refused this option in the past to artists like Adele.

      Reply
      • FarePlay

        So??? What do you want Joan of Arc? For ms. swift it’s as much about good business as anything. But then again, ultimately, that’s why I’m here. It’s just about business. I just happen to be more concerned about the artists than the future of Spotify and streaming.

        Amazing how things really don’t change. Like David Lowery says: “new boss worse than the old boss.”

        Reply
        • GGG

          So what’s your grand Fareplay plan? Get rid of streaming and watching album sales dwindle and dwindle until you die, so you can feel good about yourself?

          Reply
          • FarePlay

            I’m simply a mirror GGG. It’s really up to the artist to make a stand and decide what they are going take and what they are going to leave behind. It’s no more about me than it is about you.

  17. rickylopezGMT

    Spotify have no right to mention piracy in any statement. They have not invested a single penny to combat piracy. They can’t… they don’t have any spare pennies. Hence the piss poor returns to artists. It’s a moot point whether streaming has reigned in any piracy at this early stage.

    Reply
  18. David

    Quite right. But it’s not just that they couldn’t afford to act against piracy. After all, it wouldn’t cost them much to go to Washington and lobby for anti-piracy laws, but I don’t think we’ve heard a squeak out of them on that subject. Where were they when SOPA was being debated? Why have they never said a word against Grooveshark? The reality is that the continued existence of piracy is essential to their business model, because it enables them to sell themselves as the only alternative to piracy. They argue, almost in so many words, that it is better to get something, however small, from a streaming service, than nothing at all from the pirates. It is essentially the logic of the protection racket, as explained by Dino and Luigi Vercotti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNj1dXi-z0M

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      Well, that’s behind a paywall. Journalism has a similar problem as the music industry, though the details are much different (though equally fascinating).

      We live in interesting times!

      Reply
  19. FarePlay

    “So U2 making a deal and giving (forcing) it away is bad, but TS making a deal….. for 99 cents is good?”

    You used the words “give it away” for $.99. So first you have a comprehension problem. “Give it Away” and charging $.99 does not make sense. You either give something away or you charge for it.

    This is what’s known as a discount promotion, where the client, Microsoft, is paying the artist, Taylor Swift, to help promote their APP that requires people to download their APP onto their hard drive. Anyone, but you apparently, would look at this as promotion, therefore the price is perceived differently than just $.99 by the consumer.

    Actually I think you know this, unfortunately you’ll say anything to make your point, even when you have none. Like here.

    Back to U2. Aside from giving it away to quote you “forcing” the offer on iTunes customer was a bad move. Why they didn’t simply offer it as a free download where customers clicked on it in the iTunes store or had a promo code would have saved them a lot of headaches.

    The word free and music are nearly synonymous now thanks to piracy and services like Spotify. And it is a very hard climb back from free.

    Reply
  20. Johnny kG

    I think Taylor Swift’s decision was the only option for all artists who value their work,while maintaining what they;ve produced and completed be reflected …. as a fair remuneration , conditional to a decent standard of living.

    Reply
  21. Notfair

    Its just so selfish and closed minded of her to do that. Not all of her fans are capable of buying all her albums. Not everyone makes millions of dollars on the daily. I personally have lost a lot of respect for Taylor, but will always be a lover of her and her music.

    Reply
    • David

      It amuses me when people say they must use streaming because they can’t afford to buy records. How are they streaming? On a device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc) which costs many times the price of a record to buy, and (usually) hundreds of dollars a year in broadband or telco charges. And (if we are talking about typical teenagers), they spend hundreds of dollars more on computer games, clothes (for the girls at least), drink and drugs. Sure, everyone can’t afford everything all the time, but that is not ‘not fair’, it’s just life.

      Reply
      • Mere

        Of course, of course we all have laptops or smartphones, because those are necessities (need them for communication, work etc). But owning them doesn’t mean we’re capable enough to buy her albums. Of course we have enough cash in our wallet to get the $9.99 album, but as a not-that-capable normal person who have sooo much things to take care of, with money, i wouldn’t spend some of it for an album. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to listen to music, or i dont want to pay for them, I’m just can’t- because there are tons of important things in life that i have to spend on.
        Taylor needs to know that not all of her fans are capable enough to get her album- like all those loaded fans of her-the ones taylor posted photos of her fans purchasing her albums in bulks on twitter.-this is why i kinda agree to Notfair’s statement.
        Spotify is a great place for those like me, and now that she pulled it, I feel like if I don’t have the money, I shouldn’t listen to musics at all.

        Reply
    • Anonymous

      Her album costs $10.99 at Target. I think even homeless people can afford it if they really want it.

      That said I like the streaming model and think CDs are on their way out.

      Reply
    • PiratesWinLOL

      Ah, don’t worry about that. You can still easily stream her stuff, from other good sources such as GrooveShark, YouTube, Mp3juices.to or MP3Skull.

      What is of more concern, should be the fact that you listen to her at all. It is not really appropiate music for a grown up, to be honest. You should really try to make your taste in music more advanced and acceptable. Spotify is without a doubt a great place to search for more appropiate aternatives.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      So what if the fans can’t afford every album? When I was growing up, CDs were around $18 for new releases. Not cheap, but not exactly expensive, either. Even getting every album from artists who had 10 albums was something you could overall afford – maybe not in the same day, but if you bought an album a week, you’d have that catalog in less than 3 months.

      The fact of the matter is that services like Spotify are killing an already troubled industry. There’s no longer incentive to buy and own an album – people just want to listen to it a few times and then forget about it until they remember it for whatever reason again someday. It’s always been hard to make money as a musician, and it’s only going to get harder by limiting the income one can receive from an album. Independents may spend less on album production, but they’ll make so much less than big name artists (such as Swift) that it won’t matter, anyway, which really makes it harder. A new artist selling their CDs after a gig is much harder, because people have this “I want my music digital and free” mentality that keeps spreading.

      And for what it’s worth, it kinda sucks for certain other aspects of how we [used to] enjoy music – when you would trade albums with your friends, or maybe have a collection you were proud of, or just show up at a friend’s house with a new album and you’d both take the time to listen to it and check out the packaging material…. now everything’s virtually free, and everybody has everything. Everybody has the same tracks available to them. Every DJ has the same repertoire, and now anybody with something that has wifi thinks they’re a DJ anyway.

      I’ve heard a lot of cool stuff thanx to the internet and various forms of streaming, but ultimately, it hurts the industry, and I believe in the long run, it hurts fans as well. There’s less of an appreciation for music, and more of a sense of entitlement to it. It was bad enough when we felt artists “owed” us because we supported them by buying their product – now we still feel that they owe us when we no longer do.

      Reply
      • YouDontKnowMe

        “There’s no longer incentive to buy and own an album – people just want to listen to it a few times and then forget about it until they remember it for whatever reason again someday.” – Hence, streaming separates real stuff from a novelty, it separates something that you want to own, to cherish, to listen periodically from fluff that you only listened to because your friends did. I still buy CD, but on much smaller scale than before. And I still buy movies on optical media, but I try to prescreen them on Netflix first. I have a relatively large DVD library, but when Blu-ray came out I started to build my honest to goodness Blu-ray library of only the movies I will re-watch or ones that I really want to have guaranteed access to. I stopped buying crap. So, streaming video and music services do a great cleaning job for me.

        Reply

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