Shaking it off: Taylor Swift pulls her albums off Spotify

Victor Barreiro Jr.

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Shaking it off: Taylor Swift pulls her albums off Spotify


(UPDATED) Spotify: 'We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Taylor Swift has shaken off Spotify, the music streaming service.

The chart-topping singer removed her entire back catalog from Spotify on Monday, November 3, with her move seemingly strategic given the week-old release of her latest album “1989.”

In a blog post, Spotify noted the popularity of Taylor Swift’s music and also hoped that she would return to Spotify. The 40-million strong service noted that 16 million users played her songs in the past 30 days, with a Swift song on over 19 million playlists.

“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. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community,” the service said.

Spotify added, “We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone.”

Spotify offered its users looking for Swift an alternative playlist including suggestively titled songs such as Haim’s “If I Could Change Your Mind” and Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel.”

Swedish-founded Spotify and competing streaming companies have been a bete noire for many artists and record labels, who charge that musicians earn little revenue and that the services discourage album sales.

A Wall Street Journal report from 2013 noted that the rights holders of songs get US$0.006 to $0.0084 for each play it gets on Spotify. Swift may be banking on her popularity and her songs’ absence on Spotify to push sales of “1989” and her past albums higher. 

While Swift’s move was sweeping in scope, many major artists have delayed the streaming of new albums so as not to discourage initial sales.

Swift did not immediately comment on the decision but Scott Borchetta, the head of her label Big Machine Records, last year told trade publication Billboard that streaming services were part of a “continued race to the bottom” in devaluing music.

“1989,” Swift’s fifth album that was released last week, goes firmly in a pop direction and is widely predicted to have the most sales of any new release in 2014 if not in years.

Swift on Monday announced a 3-month tour to start on May 20 in the comparatively small community of Bossier City, Louisiana.

Swift will play across North America as well as five dates in Europe — three in Britain and one each in Germany and The Netherlands. – With a report from Agence France-Presse/

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.