Taylor Swift, Spotify and me, the cheapskate

It appears that Taylor Swift has removed all of her music from Spotify. Most of us know what heart-break or a break up feels like. I’m talking about the feeling where you feel trapped and  powerless and a slight pressure in your chest. Learning for the first time that one of my favourite artists had gone bye-bye on my primary source of music felt a bit like a heart-break.  A heart-break in its minimal degree, but a heart-break nonetheless. I was trapped in a world where I wasn’t able to just press the play-button as listen to ‘Sparks fly’ like before.

As far as I know, Spotify gets its income from selling add space and premium memberships. According to Spotify 70% of its revenue goes to the music community, which seems fair. I mean, maintaining a channel the size of Spotify probably isn’t cheap. However, even with 70% profits going to the music community it’s obvious that artists get a lot less money from streaming channels than they would if consumers would buy their albums. In the end it all comes down to us, the listeners. Are we willing to pay more for music? Premium membership costs me about 10 euros per month which I think is extremely cheap. A huge selection of music you access anywhere and anytime and listen to the songs as many times as you want. I personally would be willing to pay way more than I pay right now. It would still be a lot cheaper than buying the songs individually and artists might have a slightly more positive attitude towards “free” streaming channels…

I understand Taylor’s decision to keep her newest 1989 from Spotify to increase its sales. I wasn’t planning on buying 1989, but wait for it to come to Spotify like all the other cheapskates. Now that it’s not probably going to happen any time soon, many of Taylor’s fans might go ahead and just buy the album.

But why remove the entire collection, though? More than anything, this action sends a strong message. However Taylor’s label Big Machine hasn’t commented on the issue and Ms. Swift herself, despite being very active in social media, hasn’t so much as posted a tweet about it.

I believe most Spotify users will (eventually) find peace with Spotify’s current content minus Swift and listen to Taylor’s as an occasional treat from places like Youtube. At least, that is what I intend to do. As much I love Taylor’s music I’m not going to rush to stores for her older production. First of all, I don’t think I own a CD-player that works and downloading the entire album to my computer and then transferring it to my Spotify library seems like a fuss. Secondly, there’s something wrong with my iTunes account and it’s not letting me buy anything (fixing it is one my list). But mostly, because I like having all of my music in one place and even with Taylor gone (from Spotify) it still has the majority of my favourite artists. So unless Katy Parry, Adele and the Fray follow Taylor’s path I think I’ll stick with Spotify…

I was also disappointed to find out that Evanescence’s old hit song Bring me to live too wasn’t available on Spotify anymore. That song came out of 2002. Really, Evanescence..? How much money do you actually think you can still make from it?


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