On Tuesday, The New York Times published a report saying that "four executives at major streaming services said" they did not think Taylor Swift's new album Reputation would be on their platforms when it's released to the world this week. The executives were anonymous, as negotiations with the platforms are said to be ongoing.
iHeartRadio had announced this week that Reputation will be available "on demand" to paid tier members on their iHeartRadio app. When asked by The FADER about the release plan, a representative for iHeartRadio said it was "not 100 percent confirmed" if it would actually be available to listen to on Friday.
But it's unclear which other streaming services — ones with a lot more users — will get the Swift album to their platforms. According to the Times report, there have been "signs of a lack of promotion" from Spotify of Swift's new music, namely that the streaming giant don't seem to be placing her songs on prominent playlists. None of her new music appears on Today's Top Hits, their biggest playlist. The same cannot be said for Apple Music, which has placed all of her new singles at the top of their Hot Tracks section. Apple is also directing users to "exclusive short films" of behind the scenes footage from of her new music video sets.
Swift's relationship with streaming services — particularly Apple Music — is industry legend at this point. In the recent video for Reputation's "Look What You Made Me Do," she robs a streaming company with a baseball bat while wearing a cat mask. Back in 2014, she wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal warning of music's depreciating value. When her last album, 1989, was released, it didn't appear on Spotify and she subsequently pulled her whole catalogue from the service until earlier this year. After successfully lobbying Apple Music to pay artists royalties during the service's free trial period, she struck a deal with the service to bring her whole catalogue to the platform alongside a tour documentary. She later appeared in a commercial for the service, rapping to a Drake song on a treadmill.
Representatives for Apple Music and Taylor Swift were not available for comment.
This post was updated on November 7 to include information about iHeartRadio's release plan for the album.