We are never getting back together: Taylor Swift breaks up with Spotify


photo by Allen J. Schaben - Los Angeles Times - MCT

Taylor Swift with her awards at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Feb. 12, 2012.

On Monday, Nov. 3, Spotify removed all of Taylor Swift’s songs upon her request. In an interview with Yahoo Music, she stated that as the music industry is changing, free streaming services, such as Spotify, seem like “a grand experiment,” and she doesn’t agree with “perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.” With no other choice, Swift’s fans bought her new album, making it the fastest-selling album in 12 years; one million copies were sold in the first week. Her decision has also sparked a debate about the music industry’s future and what it might mean for artists and fans.

“I think Swift’s decision to take her music off Spotify makes her come off as someone who finds money more important more than artistry,” senior Mackenzie Williams said.

Artists such as Beyoncé and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke have already taken their music off of Spotify in an effort to look for other ways to bring their works to the market. Other artists, however, feel that it’s not worth the risk to experiment with other ways of music distribution since most of their profits come from streaming services. Spotify pays nearly 70 percent of its revenue back to the music community. To help artists understand how the company’s business model works, it plans to launch a new website. The website will allow artists to track data on their music, assist them in selling merchandise and teach them how Spotify calculates its payouts. Spotify says that as the company grows, it will make up for the fall of sales in CDs and downloads.

“People want to get their music out as much as possible so they’re using Spotify,” junior Evan Granrud said. “I don’t know if there’s really going to be a future for [the music industry] because people are already pirate listing their music so all the artists are going to get their money from tours and merchandise.”

It is not yet determined whether Swift will make her music available on Spotify again, but she hopes that her action will start a trend for other artists. She says that she is worried about the music industry and thinks that it currently discourages young artists from following their dreams. After acts of piracy, streaming and file sharing became popular, the number of albums sold significantly decreased. In an effort to improve the future music industry, Swift wants to help artists understand their value of work and become more confident in what they produce.