Spotify Is Getting Murdered by the Media…

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Ten more pages, here.


Written while listening to deadmau5 and Imogen Heap.  Cover newspaper image by Dustin Gaffke, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).

72 Responses

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Huh. Somehow I see this one differently. Metallica suffered a huge backlash, I’m not seeing any indication of that for Taylor at the moment.

      • Anonymous

        Taylor has better PR people than Lars & co. Meant more from the perspective of their actions, not the results to-date.

        • Jeff Robinson

          Agreed- for that amount of visibility, her publicist/PR firm is certainly one of the best.

          • FarePlay

            I hear the odds are going crazy in Vegas for Triple Platinum. And Spotify’s IPO price projection just dropped by half.

          • Anonymous

            “Spotify’s IPO price projection just dropped by half”

            Haha, no wonder — 25% of Spotify users have streamed her songs, this really hurts.

            So, who’s next? Beyoncé?

          • Anonymous

            Here’s what says:

            Spotify’s bullying economy: Why the streaming service should stop guilt-tripping Taylor Swift

            After Swift decided to pull her back catalog, Spotify reacted–poetically enough–like an obsessive ex. […] Spotify hates it when artists can decide how they want to get paid for their work—she’s not the first to feel the passive-aggressive Spotify burn.”

            Ouch, Spotify.

          • Anonymous


            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.

          • Anonymous

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

            Beginning to see a pattern here?

          • Anonymous

            Compare with Katy Perry who chose the pro-streaming avenue (so far):

            Ms. Perry could be described as Queen of the Internet — she is way more popular on Twitter and elsewhere than Ms. Swift (look at her mindblowing YouTube numbers!) — but her wildly popular album Prism only sold 286,000 during first week.

            Same thing with Miley Cyrus’ extremely popular Bangerz: It was streamed everywhere — but only sold 270,000 during release week.

            Perhaps we begin to see a picture emerging here:

            Stay away from Spotify during release, and increase sales by 400-500%.

          • Anonymous

            I took a look at Swift’s and Perry’s YouTube channels:

            Taylor Swift’s 2 year old “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” has 245m YouTube views — while Katy Perry’s comparable “Dark Horse” has been seen 661m times during the past 8 months.

            And again: Taylor Swift sells far more albums during release than Katy Perry, though Ms. Perry is considerably more popular.

            And the only significant difference in their release strategies is that Ms. Perry is pro-streaming and Ms. Swift is anti-streaming.


          • Anonymous

            Remember the last time we had this discussion? It’s not even a year ago.

            Back then, it was Beyoncé who boycotted Spotify.


            The fastest-selling album in iTunes Store’s history. 🙂

          • GGG

            And what was Spotify holdout Coldplay’s first week number? 100K more than those? Financially, sure, that’s a win. But in terms of megastars selling power, 100K more isn’t a particularly big win.

      • Don

        Metallica is bigger than ever. Actually, everything Metallica predicted back in the day has come true.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, Metallica won that battle!

          And Swift definitely won this one. The funny thing is that it happened in the week when Gottfrid Warg (from the pirate bay) was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and Fredrik Neij (also from the pirate bay) was arrested in Thailand.

          Is this an awesome week or what? 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Swift is playing it like she’s doing this for all artist as a fight against a company only willing to give them fractions of a penny on the dollar, and as illustrated above, it appears to be working in her favor. In the early 2000’s, Metallica just came across as a greedy legacy act in their spat with Napster. In the end, its all in how well you spin the PR.

    • FarePlay

      Paul, it seems like you have a lot of old pirates hanging around your site. Some of them working for Spotify looks like.

      • Anonymous

        “you have a lot of old pirates hanging around your site”

        And all of them were dead wrong. 🙂

        Ms. Swift proves beyond shadow of a doubt that fans buy the music they love when they can’t get it for free on Spotify!

  1. Anonymous

    All the anti-Spotify press just means more parties at Google/Youtube HQ, and, of course, the Pirate Bay.

    • Anonymous

      Completely false — the interesting fact is that millions of fans go to iTunes and buy their music when it isn’t available for free on Spotify.

      It’s not a matter of opinion. Swift, Beyoncé, Adele, Coldplay etc. prove it.

        • Anonymous

          So you think my statement is false? Care to explain why? Please be as specific as possible.

          Here it is again:

          Millions of fans go to iTunes and buy their music when it isn’t available for free on Spotify.

  2. Anonymous

    The fact that this is your cover story today makes me not want to visit this site anymore.

    • Anonymous

      …and yet you come back again and again to bitch about music and musicians. 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    Paul, it’s really not fair to say that Spotify is getting murdered.

    Spotify killed itself. Didn’t you see the suicide note?

    Here it is again — see how Mr. Ek not only tries to turn Ms. Swift’s fans against her, he even claims that Spotify (itself created by the CEO of a piracy site) somehow protects against — wait for it — Piracy:

    “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.” 🙂

    The fact is, of course, that Swift and lots of other acts prove that millions of fans pay for the music they love when they can’t get it for free on Spotify.

    Let’s hope everybody will remove their songs from Spotify in sympathy with Ms. Swift.

    RIP, Spotify.

  4. FarePlay

    This is only going to make a difference if other artists step forward and join in by removing their music from Spotify.

    • Anonymous

      …just wait, she’s one of the most influential artists in the world…

    • Versus

      So let’s do that.
      Swift’s actions should inspire and encourage others to do the same.
      When someone of her stature and influence makes a move like this, it gets press, and even the apathetic public’s partial attention. If more and more artists do it, this can have real benefits to musicians.

      Public shaming can be a very effective way to change unethical behaviors.

  5. Casey

    Murdered by the media? Have you actually clicked on those links? The vast majority of the media reports have been neutral on the subject. Of the remaining reports, I have seen far more siding with Spotify than against them.

    • Anonymous

      Um, I don’t think you understand what’s going on here.

      Paul googled Spotify — not Titanic.

      But all the results are about what Spotify doesn’t have, what it can’t do; how artists dump it, leave it, shake it off; how it didn’t take Ms. Swift’s break-up well and how it… sinks.

      • Casey

        I wouldn’t say that. But my point is that the mass media and general public have little-no understanding about what is going on. They only see what is on the surface. The common opinion I am seeing across the media is that Taylor Swift is simply being greedy. In many media reports, Spotify is being painted as the underdog that can’t catch a break. And the publicity has actually introduced a lot of people to Spotify, which could give them a boost in growth in the near term.

        Obviously the underlying problems are going to continue to cause Spotify some trouble for the foreseeable future. But I think the rumors about the impending collapse of a service that will generate over $1 billion in revenue this year are greatly exaggerated. Taylor Swift is one artist on a semi-independent label. Until the majors change their stance and allow their artists to bail, Spotify will continue with business as usual. And that stance seems unlikely to change.

        • Anonymous

          “the publicity has actually introduced a lot of people to Spotify”

          Hahaaa, priceless! 🙂

          • GGG

            Wow, your selective rationalizing is incredible. So, according to you, the media blasting Spotify is good because everyone will now know Spotify is bad. In the past, we’ve both agree Spotify isn’t well marketed/known. But somehow these largely neutral articles will NOT introduce people to Spotify because…?


          • Anonymous

            “In the past, we’ve both agree Spotify isn’t well marketed/known”

            And now it’s known alright. Like Ebola.

        • FarePlay

          “But my point is that the mass media and general public have little-no understanding about what is going on.”

          Casey, unfortunately, you nailed it.

          • Anonymous

            Not sure why that didn’t work but i was referring to this:

            Casey “Taylor Swift is one artist on a semi-independent label. Until the majors change their stance and allow their artists to bail, Spotify will continue with business as usual. And that stance seems unlikely to change”

            Also, very true

  6. DeezNizzuhh

    DMN is the Worldstar of music industry news.

    The comment section is punches and titties flying everywhere.

  7. DeezNizzuhh

    Jordan Belfort’s company really took off after the bad press…

    Technology changes fast…human beings? much slower.

  8. RIAA 2014 first half report

    Anyone want to guess which of the 3 main segments will be #1 in 2015?

    2014 streaming music revenue estimate:

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

    full year 2014 = $859M + $1100M = $1959 million (up 28%)

    2014 download music (singles and album) revenue estimate:

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

    full year 2014 = $2.444 billion (down 12%)

    2014 physical media revenue estimate

    1H = $898 mil (down 14%)
    2H = $898 x 14% decline = $772 million

    Full year 2014 = $898mil + $772 mil = $1670 million (down 14%)

  9. RIAA 2014+first+half+report

    2014 estimate

    #1: Download: $2.444 billion (down 12%)
    #2: Streaming: $1.959 billion (up 28%)
    #3: Physical: $1.670 billion (down 14%)

    Streaming will be #1 in 2015.

    • Anonymous

      “Streaming will be #1 in 2015”

      Unless artists want to make money, of course. 🙂

      You know, like Ms. Swift, Beyoncé, Adele, Coldplay…

      • Anonymous

        Here’s Swift’s first tweet after she ditched Spotify:

        “Industry experts predicted 1989 would sell 650k first week. You went and bought 1.287 million albums….”

      • RIAA

        Doesn’t change the fact that streaming revenue will be the biggest in 2015

        Something like this:

        #1 Streaming: $2.5 billion
        #2 Download: $2.1 billion
        #3 Physical: $1.5 billion

  10. RIAA

    When streaming is $3 billion + and half of all recorded music revenue, will it still be a good idea to boycott it?

    2014: $2 billion a year (USA)
    2015: $2.5 billion a year (USA)
    2016: $3 billion + a year (USA)

  11. Statistical

    ummm… Yes.

    Revenues does not equal profits. Sales of downloads is still far more profitable than streaming.

    Just because the lottery pays more than your current salary doesn’t mean you should play it to pay for your rent…

  12. rickylopezGMT

    Revenue revenue revenue… blah blah blah. Can any genius out there estimate the NET PROFIT of Spotify in 2 years? Or 5 for that matter.
    If you can then phone Goldmans right away. There is an office & credit card waiting for you.
    At the moment Spotify is trying to make an omelette for 6 with just 3 eggs. Next year they will have 4 eggs.
    Big deal.
    If you are a fashionable pop star making money TODAY and not in 2 years, then I don’t blame anyone dumping Spotify if it is affecting DL & physical.

  13. David

    Having read a lot of these press reports, I think most of them have just swallowed Spotify’s propaganda. Many of them are incorrectly claiming that Taylor’s back catalog has been removed from *all* streaming services, which is certainly not the case. It is still on Beats Music,, and Rdio at least for paid subscribers. Possibly also Deezer and Google Music play. (Of course I’m not counting unlicenced services like Grooveshark and YouTube.) I’m sure DMN could perform a useful service by finding out and publicizing the full position. So far, Spotify seems to be the *only* service from which access has been completely withdrawn. If so, I suggest there are three possible reasons:

    1. Taylor’s label intend to withdraw from all services but started with Spotify and haven’t got round to the others yet. (There might also be outstanding contractual obligations.)

    2. Taylor is willing to stream to paid subscribers (with a payout around one cent per play) but not to free users (payout around a tenth of a cent). Spotify has refused to let artists pick and choose, but other services may allow this, and some only have paying subscribers anyway.

    3. The withdrawal from Spotify is a specific reaction to their public bullying tactics. Recall that as soon as 1989 was released Spotify listed it on their artist profile for Taylor Swift, with the message: “The artist or their representatives have decided not to release this album on Spotify. We are working on it and hope they will change their mind soon”. This could almost have been designed to antagonise her. Remember that she is not a naïve kid from a trailer park; she comes from a wealthy and well-connected family (‘three generations of bank presidents’, according to Wiki), so she would regard people like Daniel Ek as not far removed from pond scum.

  14. whining

    Isn’t it funny that an unnamed spotify person was quoted as slagging other music services by saying “[spotify] actually has users” when confronted with the fact that Rdio, Rhapsody and Google still have TS? I didn’t read anyone whining lile Spotify is now when Spotify got the Zeppelin and Metallica catalogs.

  15. Anonymous

    it’s never about the “music” anymore. it’s strictly about the “money”. continued sad state of affairs. the record industry will never learn.

  16. Tamas

    What if I tell you, these “news” are not really new, they are well planned PR campaigns helping the marketing of the album.