Photo (cc) by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer
Taylor Swift’s newest album, “1989,” hasn’t streamed on Spotify. It appears it never will.
In fact, you can no longer listen to any of Swift’s music on the popular music streaming site because the singer has effectively broken up with Spotify, pulling all of her music from the site.
According to a company statement, Spotify said it hopes Swift will “change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone.” Spotify said 16 million of its 40 million users played Swift’s music in the past month.
But the breakup may be permanent. The 24-year-old Swift has long been a critic of music streaming. According to USA Today, in addition to holding back her newest album, Swift didn’t allow Spotify to play her 2012 album, “Red,” for 120 days.
“Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently,” Swift wrote in The Wall Street Journal in July.
Spotify said it pays nearly 70 percent of its revenue “back to the music community.”
“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,” Spotify said.
Some people have called Swift’s move shortsighted, saying that streaming is the future of music. Joshua Brustein wrote on Bloomberg Businessweek that royalties from Spotify, which has more than 10 million paid subscribers, work in artists’ favor when compared with competitors like YouTube or Pandora, where Swift’s music still plays.
“If Swift is going to participate in the Internet at all, she should stay with Spotify,” Brustein wrote.
Still, Swift’s move is really no surprise. As she said in the piece she penned for the WSJ:
Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. 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.
Swift is incredibly popular. So far, it appears that her newest album will top 1.3 million in sales in just its first week. “It could be the largest sales week for an album since Eminem’s ‘The Eminem Show’ sold 1.322 million in 2002,” USA Today said.
Will she prevail? USA Today added:
“Taylor Swift owns the zeitgeist this week,” wrote music industry blogger Bob Lefsetz in his newsletter [on] Monday. “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!”
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