Friday, November 14, 2014

My view on Taylor Swift & Spotify

With all of this "drama" between Taylor Swift and Spotify, I think it's time for me to throw in my own 2 cents into the pot.

First off, let me say this: I am a Spotify user. A few years back I used to be a very loyal user of Pandora, but their latest moves to make the most money has shunned me away very much. Pandora also doesn't offer any kind of on-demand streaming service, while Spotify has both offerings, and you can switch between them whenever you want. Well, by "latest", I mean "what they've been doing for almost a year straight now". I switched to Spotify months and months ago.

Taylor Swift has pulled her entire music catalog from Spotify. Before this, Taylor Swift already had beef with Spotify. "Shake It Off" wasn't available on Spotify until it was eventually added after a lot of demand (and of course, reporting). I'd link you to a specific news article on that by itself, but right now search engines are swamped with reports of Taylor Swift pulling her music from Spotify so I can't really do much about that.

Spotify isn't the company with the rights to her music. In the case of Taylor Swift, her music is managed by Big Machine. Who actually decided to pull the plug on Spotify support is unknown, at least to me. I think the decision was ultimately hers, although influence from her record company is a no-brainer at this point.

Swift, in an interview, stated that basically she doesn't want her life's work on an "experiment". I think I really know why Taylor Swift (or her record label) decided to pull her music from Spotify, and it all has to do with what runs the world nowadays -- money.

It's simple -- Taylor Swift doesn't like what she was getting paid based on her Spotify streams. To be honest, she's being greedy. Taylor Swift, based on her latest album sales of "1989", she's definitely a millionare, even after her record company has taken their cut of the profit. Why are rich people always moaning and groaning about money? If anything, indie artists are the ones who should be complaining about money. I wish that Spotify paid other artists more per stream, but according to how they pay artists, the more users they have, the more they can pay the artist. Taylor Swift already has millions of dollars in her back pocket. Saying that she's speaking for other artists is just a front. She's being greedy, plain and simple.

If there hasn't already been plenty of indicators, streaming music is the future. CD and digital download sales have been steadily dropping, except for outliers such as "1989". Punishing services like Spotify (and thus, their users) isn't the answer. I never specifically liked how Swift (and other artists) targeted Spotify as a reason for the lost revenue. I don't expect Taylor Swift to stick to her decision forever, and soon enough we'll see her music on Spotify again. Like I said, streaming music is the future and the age of people buying albums will probably die out eventually.

Also, another thing -- Taylor Swift calls her music "art"?! Please, give me a break. I wouldn't consider her music "art", even if her music was the last to exist. Classical music was the real art that started the industry. Disagree? Feel free to argue with me in the comments. Bohemian Rhapsody is some classical art. If you want a entire mega-album of Queen, look at this.