On Nov. 3, Taylor Swift decided to pull her entire catalogue from Spotify. R.I.P. to every single one of our playlists! Now, she has revealed the reason why — she doesn’t believe that music should be free.
Taylor Swift, 24, made waves in her massive fanbase on Nov. 3 when she removed her music from Spotify. At the time, Spotify released a statement begging her to come back — after all, the free streaming service makes a ton off of superstars like Taylor. However, in a new interview, Taylor reveals why she pulled her catalogue, and her reasoning is pretty simple — she doesn’t feel like the art she has painstakingly created should be disseminated free of charge.
Taylor Swift On Pulling Music From Spotify: My Music Shouldn’t Be Free
The success of 1989 is something that the declining music industry hasn’t seen for 10 years; in its first week, it sold upwards of 1.2 million copies. Obviously, Taylor isn’t hurting for cash; however, that’s not what this is about.
“Music is changing so quickly, and the landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment,” Taylor told Yahoo! Music.
“And I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music. And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”
She makes some great points — the money that artists receive from services like Spotify is infinitesimal. However, the blame for that doesn’t just rest on Spotify’s shoulders, but on the shoulders of record companies who are notorious for not paying artists their fair share. Vulture goes into this issue in depth.
Taylor Swift: ‘Music Is Art, And Art Is Important And Rare’
Taylor’s views in her Yahoo! interview echo what she wrote in her Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this year about the future of the music industry. There, she wrote:
“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.”
“I try to stay really open-minded about things, because I do think it’s important to be a part of progress,” Taylor continued telling Yahoo. “But I think it’s really still up for debate whether this is actual progress, or whether this is taking the word ‘music’ out of the music industry. Also, a lot of people were suggesting to me that I try putting new music on Spotify with ‘Shake It Off,’ and so I was open-minded about it. I thought, ‘I will try this; I’ll see how it feels.’ It didn’t feel right to me.
“I felt like I was saying to my fans, ‘If you create music someday, if you create a painting someday, someone can just walk into a museum, take it off the wall, rip off a corner off it, and it’s theirs now and they don’t have to pay for it.’ I didn’t like the perception that it was putting forth. And so I decided to change the way I was doing things.”
It’s a huge bummer to see Taylor removed from our carefully-curated Spotify playlists, but we absolutely respect her choice to do whatever she likes with her art. 1989 is a veritable pop masterpiece, and paying full price for it is no hardship!
HollywoodLifers, what do you think about Taylor removing her music from Spotify? Do you get what she’s saying, or are you despondent over the loss? Let us know!
— Amanda Michelle Steiner