Today Taylor Swift removed all her albums from streaming service Spotify, following on from comments made in an article in which she criticised the streaming service and said that for a musician to let fans listen to their music for free was to “undervalue their art”.
While she isn’t totally wrong in saying that Spotify’s business model isn’t perfect (certainly not in terms of how much it currently pays per stream), I’d probably have more respect for her stance if she wasn’t as hugely successful as she is. Like others critical of streaming services who have withdrawn their music from them, she isn’t going to lose too much from doing it. Her new album 1989 has apparently sold well over a million copies already and she’s just announced a massive world tour. She is apparently worth around 200 million dollars, which is a HELL of a lot of money.
Taylor doesn’t necessarily need a streaming service to top up her humongous income. But while she can afford to remove her music from this outlet, there are plenty of those especially in the younger side of her fanbase who probably cannot afford her albums and would be saving up for ages to get a ticket for one of her concerts (and likely miss out altogether). You can’t necessarily blame these people for thinking that their idol might be being a little bit greedy for denying them the chance to listen to their tunes on a free (but you can pay for if you want to), legitimate platform and plenty on Twitter have been thinking this. I doubt very much that she will lose loads of fans over it though. She certainly still has the love of Spotify, who are trying to persuade her to put her albums back on there like an ex-boyfriend trying to win her back, even creating a playlist for her.
Whatever the outcome, let’s just hope that Taylor doesn’t write a song about this particular relationship.