Taylor Swift pulled all of her music from Spotify last week, hot on the heels of her juggernaut album release “1989,” which sent a shockwave of panic and terror throughout the universe of streaming fans and Spotify users that love to jam out to “22” and “Mean”.
At first, like with any breakup, Spotify was apologetic and wanted Taylor to reconsider her decision and come back to them:
“We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. 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.”
Now they’ve taken a slightly different approach: Making her look like an asshole for leaving. And they’re doing it the best way they know how, with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek publicly telling people how much money she left on the table, a cool $6 million dollars a year.
“At our current size, payouts for a top artist like Taylor Swift (before she pulled her catalog) are on track to exceed $6 million a year, and that’s only growing – we expect that number to double again in a year. Any way you cut it, one thing is clear – we’re paying an enormous amount of money to labels and publishers for distribution to artists and songwriters, and significantly more than any other streaming service.”
Ek went on to say that they’re all about respecting music rights and putting an end to piracy:
“Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work. Quincy Jones posted on Facebook that “Spotify is not the enemy; piracy is the enemy”. You know why? Two numbers: Zero and Two Billion. Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny—nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists.”
However, I don’t think that Taylor Swift is exactly taking a stance on piracy here. She might want you to think she does, but she may have her sights set on bigger things. Her record label, Big Machine Records, is looking to sell to the highest bidder, and Taylor’s family actually owns a piece of the label. Plus, she only has one record left on her contract with that label, and some think that this Spotify move could be a way to drive up album sales to make the label more attractive to buyers. So maybe she’s got dollar signs in her eyes slightly bigger than $6 million?.