Added another breakup to the tally. This morning, one week and a projected 1.3 million albums sold following the release of 1989, Taylor Swift– or, more accurately, her label pseudo-indie label Big Machine Label Group– has pulled her entire catalog from Spotify, rendering the streaming services 40 million subscribers Tay-less. The move is thought to be an attempt by the label to maximize album sales ahead of negotiation discussions for the label's sale. However, other Big Machine Label Group artists, such as Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts, still seem to be available for stream.
Spotify is not pleased, and in a blog post titled "On Taylor Swift's Big Decision To Remove Her Music from Spotify," they more or less pleaded for her return and defending their policies: "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." They ended the post with a "Come Back, Taylor!" playlist that has a pleading message hidden within the song titles: "Hey Taylor, we wanted to play your amazing love songs and they're not here right now. We want you back with us, so do do do your fans."
There are a lot of ways to read this situation, here are a few via Twitter.
First, the obligatory never-ever break up jokes:
Has anyone made a Taylor Swift never ever ever getting back together with spotify joke yet?
— Aminatou Sow (@aminatou) November 3, 2014
So which song on Taylor Swift's new album is about her breakup with Spotify?
— Kaleb Nation (@KalebNation) November 3, 2014
Next, people began to wonder if avoiding streaming services is old-timey of Taylor:
This is how it starts. One day Taylor Swift pulls her music from Spotify. The next, we're using AOL and having to hail taxis again.
— Aaron Levie (@levie) November 3, 2014
A few were optimistic that she might be able to use her heavyweight status to encourage changes in a system that is not artist friendly:
Taylor Swift's thing is a good reminder that Spotify is a meh way for artists to make money and a great way for them to build an audience.
— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) November 3, 2014
But a lot more seemed to think that the decision to pull her catalog was motivated by greed, just a way to sell more records:
Taylor swift removed all of her albums on spotify and that is just greedy and rude
— Kelsey DiVirgilio (@kdivirgilio) November 3, 2014
Taylor swift removing her album from spotify and selling it to iTunes just shows she's just as greedy as everyone else
— corrine (@corrinuzz) November 3, 2014
Taylor Swift pulling out of Spotify makes you wonder exactly how much she "loves" her fans… Like, she really needs the stream revenue :/
— Sowmya Krishnamurthy (@SowmyaK) November 3, 2014
Photo credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty