I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but this kind of stuff is exactly what the music industry needs- where things get stagnant, and nobody is ballsy enough to make a move. Having a pop megastar like Taylor Swift do this is just the military muscle that a move like this needs. Having a small rock artist or rap artist do this does not have NEARLY the impact and blinding punch that a global superstar like Swift has. To have one of today's most in-demand artists yank their whole discography is one of the ballsiest moves I have ever seen, and proves that Taylor Swift has not only some serious brains, but some serious bite to her proverbial bark.
Color me impressed. A lot of people, namely angry controlling Apple users had a huge beef with the fact that U2 "forced" them to have their new album... FOR FREE... Seriously, that wasn't and is not the point. The fact is, U2 was willing to spend huge money on a new record and do something TOTALLY outside of convention. It doesn't even matter if it "works" or not, because it shook shit up. And again, THAT is exactly what the industry needs. I might just go listen to this U2 album right now on principle alone!
So while Taylor Swift is enjoying massive industry success in a world where no one sells records, why would she pull her music from Spotify? Her brand new album is "on course to sell a record-breaking 1.3 MILLION PLUS copies"
Nobody is doing that right now, so the fact that THIS is the artist deciding to pull the music from Spotify has some serious power. According to the fine folks at NME, Spotify is "begging Swift to come back".
And actually, they're right. It's almost kind of sad- like one of those awkward breakups where the one party makes playlists that are poorly researched and share vagueries in song title only to the stiuation on hand... never mind ACTUAL lyrical content.
But yes, check out what Spotify is saying to their departed artist:
"We hope [Swift] will change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone," the company wrote. "We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community."
El. Oh. El.
Seriously, Spotify's response and cutesy blog is literally pathetic...
Spotify, if you "love" her so much- while your 40 million listeners enjoy her tunes; why don't you pay her proper. To quote Henry Rollins, pay her now, pay her double. This stuff isn't free, and isn't just there for the taking.
I sincerely hope that Swift is laughing at this point. She has been vocal in the past about how Spotify does not treat artists fairly and does not pay songwriters- a notion that is backed by MUCH of the music industry. She already acted out on this by not allowing her 2012 album 'Red' to debut on the service, so this move now is very literally, excuse the pun, shaking it all off.
Taylor went on to say:
"Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently," she wrote. "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."
You go Taylor Swift, your moves are inspiring and truly amazing. They are JUST what music needs. Here's to the future of music!
By the way, if you are all up in angst about Spotify, and feel bad for the service- it is a well-known fact that the services are not fair to artists. Please read this brilliant piece on Wired, written by the always-eloquent Aloe Blacc- keep this in mind when you choose how to listen to the music you love :)