When Taylor Swift yanked her catalog from Spotify earlier this week, fans knew there was trouble (x2) brewing between the multiplatinum pop artist and the streaming music service, which has been criticized for its hair-thin sharing margins.
Now speaking out for the first time in an interview with Yahoo News, Swift reveals why she decided to remove all her albums, and her M.O. falls very much in line with what artists like Thom Yorke and David Byrne of the Talking Heads have been saying all along. Here’s Swift delicately setting the table, doilies and all:
If I had streamed the new album, it’s impossible to try to speculate what would have happened. But all I can say is that 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.
And then she brings out the heart-shaped sledgehammer:
…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 goes on to say that putting “Shake It Off” on Spotify “didn’t feel right,” and eventually decided “to change the way [she] was doing things.” Hence the sudden Taylor Swift-shaped void in Spotify’s catalog. The service, however, feels that artists are compensated fairly, and has been experimenting with new revenue models, like selling merch and VIP experiences. Swift isn’t hurting financially either way.
I GUESS THEY ARE NEVER, EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER. But it could set an important precedent for other big pop acts should they choose to ditch Spotify, too.