Spotify: “Taylor Swift’s Departure Had Zero Impact on Us”

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…from an interview with billionaire Sean Parker, investor, board member, and key executive at Spotify.

CNN/Money: So what has Taylor Swift taught us about this industry and streaming music?  Just this week, she and Apple clashed, and she won.

Sean Parker: Taylor is a bit of an anomaly in the music industry, in the sense that she’s… she’s still able to sell a lot of downloads, she’s still able to sell in some parts of the country CDs, she has a huge fanbase, and she sort of defies gravity in the sense that very few artists have, have that kind of built-in fanbase and will continue to buy their albums.

CNN/Money: Do you want her back?

Parker: The interesting thing–

CNN/Money: — on Spotify?


“– the interesting thing in looking at the numbers, there was no evidence in looking at the data of a change in consumption or usage, when Taylor left the platform.  So even if you take out one major contemporary artist, it really doesn’t affect the overall usage.”

34 Responses

    • FarePlay

      Parker has resurfaced this past week announcing his 600 million dollar charitable foundation and being visible as Spotify board member and cheerleader. Clearly they are nervous about Apple Music, as anyone would be, but there is little enthusiasm for their business and downplay as much as you want, but as Spotify is deprived of more and more new releases and artists, it will have impact.

      There are many indie artists who have a few tracks or no tracks on Spotify, you just don’t hear about them. And for those who log on to this site daily and seen the top 5 Spotify played artists, you’ve seen the same artists for over SIX months. Sucking money out of the business, out of the pockets of artists and eradicating discovery, spells the end.

  1. Versus

    Which is why artists need to pull together.
    Unionize if necessary, or do it less formally.
    If artists drop Spotify en masse, that would be game over for the company.

    • Name2

      Taylor Swift ain’t no Norma Rae.

      Not in a million years.

    • Anonymous

      Yep, but “en masse” would need to be literally massive – probably at least 60% of the independent labels and one of the majors (or 2 of the majors). Individual artists won’t cut it, even if every single unsigned artist pulled their content from Spotify.

      The problem there is that while you can kill Spotify quickly, you need somewhere else for the music and consumers to go. Apple Music would be a logical option now, except it’s basically just Spotify rebranded so the switch wouldn’t do you any real good (and revenues would likely drop for at least 3 months during the transition period). Kill Spotify without a better alternative already in place for artists/labels (and consumers), and you will drive Spotify’s paying customers to piracy and YouTube.

  2. curious

    “….Sean Parker: Taylor is a bit of an anomaly in the music industry…”

    Ever noticed that all the artists who speak out and/or seem to operate just fine without streaming are called “anomalies”?

  3. lol

    not so true, after taylor left i never used spotify again lol

    • PiratesWinLOL

      If bad taste was a crime, you would spend the rest of your life in prison. Anyway, if you want to stream this clown, then i recommend Google Music. You can just upload her stuff to their servers and stream it from there. It is a great way to deal with any difficult artist.

  4. Jena

    Thats true, I enjoy my spotify taylor swift free, i couldnt care less

  5. Mandy

    This is the most pointless article I’ve ever read, if Taylor really had zero impact on the company they wouldn’t still be talking about her 8 months after she pulled her back catalog off of spotify, it’s really pathetic how up and arms spotify got over Taylor’s actions.

    • Anonymous

      uh…it was a question. Is he supposed to just refuse to answer it?

  6. blastjacket

    And why exactly are we supposed to believe everything he says to be the truth?

    • GGG

      Let’s be real here. You really think that many people, hell anyone really, used Spotify PURELY to listen to Taylor Swift? Of course it wouldn’t really have an impact. Her fans are ravenous sheep, they probably all own her music in some form already. The people listening to TS on Spotify were probably mostly people like me who do so out of curiosity and to keep up to date on current music and then yes, people who legitimately like some songs of hers. But most of those two categories aren’t going to leave Spotify just because TS isn’t on there. Maybe we shoot over to YouTube for 3 minutes, but after we get the TS fix, it’s back to Spotify.

      • blastjacket

        But again, why are we supposed to believe him? Your position is only conjecture and his position is biased.

        • GGG

          You don’t have to believe him (or me), but are you saying you actually believe there was such a large number of people streaming such a large number of TS songs and/or people who once streamed TS songs now don’t even use the service anymore, that it would have caused some major downturn in usage? That seems a bit unlikely…