Taylor Swift has had some nasty words for Spotify in 2015, calling the platform a “start-up with no cash flow,” and a company that “reacted to criticism like a corporate machine.” More importantly, she’s refused to give Spotify access to her coveted, high-selling albums, instead handing exclusives to the recently-launched Apple Music. “Apple treated me like I was a voice of a creative community that they actually cared about,” Swift remarked.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 13, 2015
Now, Swift’s Spotify boycott continues: according to details announced over the weekend, Swift’s upcoming concert film for ‘1989’ will be exclusively available on Apple Music (and not available on Spotify). The video release includes a full concert filmed at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, plus lots of behind-the-scenes footage and special guest appearances. It will be directed by Jonas Akerlund, whose extensive credits include Madonna, Lady Gaga, and U2.
All of that will be available for Swift fans starting December 20th, with access limited to paying Apple Music subscribers (or, those still on a three-month, limited trial).
The question is whether any of this matters for Spotify. Importantly for Spotify, Taylor Swift’s high-profile holdouts have actually helped, thanks to an avalanche of media awareness and free publicity. And ss 2016 rolls in, Spotify is about to cross the 100 million user mark, a streaming population that cannot be ignored.
But that calculation could be changing with Adele and Coldplay, superstars that may have been encouraged by Swift’s stance. Just recently, Spotify announced that it would allow certain artists to limit their material to paying-only subscribers, a step that CEO Daniel Ek has privately detested.
Perhaps Spotify could solve its ‘Swift problem’ with its tiered offering, the details of which remain foggy.
Top image by pelican@flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).