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Taylor Swift Explains Why She Broke Up with Spotify

Taylor Swift Explains Why She Broke Up with Spotify

Taylor Swift made tons of headlines earlier this week over her decision to pull all her albums off of the streaming service Spotify and now she is speaking out to explain her choice.

“If I had streamed the new album, it’s impossible to try to speculate what would have happened,” the 24-year-old singer told Yahoo, referring to her record album sales week.

“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 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,” Taylor added. “And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”

“I wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal this summer that basically portrayed my views on this. I try to stay really open-minded about things, because I do think it’s important to be a part of progress. But I think it’s really still up for debate whether this is actual progress, or whether this is taking the word “music” out of the music industry,” she continued.

“Also, a lot of people were suggesting to me that I try putting new music on Spotify with ‘Shake It Off,’ and so I was open-minded about it. I thought, ‘I will try this; I’ll see how it feels.’ It didn’t feel right to me. I felt like I was saying to my fans, ‘If you create music someday, if you create a painting someday, someone can just walk into a museum, take it off the wall, rip off a corner off it, and it’s theirs now and they don’t have to pay for it.’ I didn’t like the perception that it was putting forth. And so I decided to change the way I was doing things,” Taylor concluded.

WHAT DO YOU THINK of Taylor Swift’s explanation for leaving Spotify?

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Posted to: Taylor Swift

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  • Seyfried Fan

    Everything she said is stupid she’s the only artist who’s acting this way i think she should start by getting over herself i find her music quite boring to be honest so i’m sure the only people who listen to it are her fans right ? so what about your fans who can’t afford paying for your music taylor ? have you thought about that ? stupid brat

  • Mia

    She’s right though. Her career is being a musician and that’s how she pays the bills, just like the rest of us trying to pay our own bills with our own jobs. But I do think with how successful she is, she shouldn’t worry too much about not being able to make sales.

  • CS

    It’s her music and I applaud her for putting her foot down. I think that as consumers, we may not fully understand the hard work and the man power that goes behind releasing an album. And for what? So that people can listen to it for free? So these people who have families and home and rent to pay ultimately don’t get paid for it? No! And what about the other artists on Taylor’s label? Without her and all the money she’s raking in, Big Machine won’t have the money needed to develop other artists. And what if they are right now working with our next favorite who will be huge next year? And what if someone wanted us to work 40 hours a week, 5 days a week, and didn’t pay us for it? We’d get mad, right?

    Also I’m sure that if someone really wanted to buy her album, they would find a way to do so. I used to hold onto allowances all the time as a kid so that I could buy music. It’s becoming more and more affordable, especially digitally. I think the iTunes standard edition is less than $10. And I’m sure it’s the same at Target for the standard edition.

  • Molly1958

    She knows what she’s doing. Smart woman.

  • Michelle

    So all she wanted was for 1989 to break the record for most sales in a week? I thought being an artist was all about putting your work out there and sharing it with others. Not being in it for the money. Just my opinion, I’m not hating.

  • Listen to

    Honestly Taylor is getting so greedy, if it doesn’t pay her, she won’t do it. I’m over her. She’s so fake it’s crazy.

  • Listen to

    She’s a multi-millionaire. Artists are over paid and way too greedy. Id love to see her survive on a average American wage.

  • Blast

    “…this is taking the word “music” out of the music industry” – sounds like she’s more worried the streaming services are taking the “industry” out of the “music industry”

  • pena

    you realize that album sales actually aren’t the primary method artists get their money, right? most of their money comes from touring and endorsements very little of their income is from album sales especially because it’s super easy for people to pirate music. it’s just her being selfish and trying to get every penny she can. she’s a multimillionaire so if she really cared about her fans she’d realize not all of her preteen fans have the means to spend money on her album and a lot of them use spotify.


    You’re being unfair and not looking at the big picture here. Think about all those struggling artists that put music out there and don’t get fairly compensated? Taylor Swift is in a power position, she is already the only recording artist now that can sell actual millions of records during her debut week. With her, taking a stand on this, it will force those greedy companies like Spotify to pay higher royalties to artists, which is what she really is fighting for.

    Her fans can’t afford her album? She doesn’t release an album every day. if they are true fans they will know when her album is dropping and start saving their allowance in preparation for it. If they are true fans they would buy their album regardless.

  • H8tersg0nnah8

    oh come on… it’s like they are making most of their money from albums… No they do not. It’s concerts tours, advertising (in short gigs). Btw her music is on youtube, radios, pandorra and Sirius and that doesnt bother her… Okay, we’ll the piracy will get her now. Since Spotify helped drastically to decrease the number of people pirating her music. She will suffer now.


    Sellings records helps her continue being an artist. Artistry is great BUT if it’s not bringing you money…you can’t eat off of just writing music.

  • CS

    Sit there in your Section 8 apartment and hate on someone else. Bye.

  • Diana Marín

    I really like her, I mean I’ve loved her music ever since she started making it, but as much as I love her, I have to admit that this just doesn’t sound right to me. Taylor is probably one of the richest women in the industry, and all her thoughts about “the payable value of music” don’t make any sense to me. Of course we all know how hard it is to record an album and the amount of effort the artist and everyone involved put into it, but even if she allows Spotify to play her music she’ll be making money anyway. She’s starting to look sooooo greedy, and I really hate that, because it kind of ruins my image of her. There are people dying of hunger in this world, and it’s so sad to see the way one of my favorite artists is trying to get more and more money when she’s already one of the most succesful singers in the world.

  • Michelle

    You’re right, but it’s unfair to people like me who can’t afford to buy new albums all the time. No one is asking her to have multiple houses and live such a lavish lifestyle.

  • Tamara Gomez

    Urrgghh… I am so over her!


    Taylor has to travel a lot and it’s easier to set up homes in the places she is most often instead of staying at a hotel. She wants to feel like she’s coming home and not a cold and boring hotel.

  • Raí

    At the end if the day its not just about Her it’s about this artists that are just writers or producers and other people that work in an album

  • Maddie

    I like Taylor a lot. She’s very smart, and I understand where she’s coming from. Spotify definitely needs to work through some things to find a balance between allowing people to stream music for free and properly compensating the artists.

    That being said, it’s a bit off putting to hear this from someone who just sold 1.2million albums in a week, and despite claiming to keep her concert tickets “affordable”, is currently selling tickets at $152 a piece (minus Ticketmaster fees) for a massive world tour.

  • Michelle

    Since you know her so well, maybe you could talk to her and convince her to put her music back on Spotify?

  • Dean

    Children dying of starvation in Africa is unfair, and you’re complaining about not being able to buy new albums?

  • Sarah G

    If she doesn’t want to put her music on Spotify then that’s her decision. It’s HER music, it doesn’t belong to anyone else and she should get to decide what to do with it without people throwing little temper tantrums because they don’t get it for free on some App. It’s her property so it’s her choice. End of.

  • Sarah G

    I got tickets for around £75 each for my sisters off ticketmaster. Concerts are really expensive to put on when it comes to the big showy acts like Taylor. They need to pay for each show and then spin a profit for all the invested parties to make it all worthwhile. It’s all a business. None of the rest of us go to work for free. We’re all looking to make as much as we can. Nothing wrong with that.

  • Shauna

    nobody wants to pay for music and thats just that but i guess thats how she makes the money

  • Michelle

    Yeah I know it’s pretty stupid

  • Thania Inzunza

    you won a lot of money for life and bring this statement! Girl c’mon worry about the sales of the music. isn’t enough $ from the other stuffs you get ??

  • Mike

    Streaming services are relatively new, what did y’all do before then, what the generations did before the digital age? you either prioritised your spending habits and saved up or you went without. Simple. People these days are so entitled like “waaah I want it for free!!” Bloody #FirstWorldProblems right there. What several have said, and several ignorant people fail to grasp is that Taylor Swift (or insert any other big name musician into the equation) isn’t the only person involved in releasing records, so whilst Taylor has other revenue streams like concerts, endorsement deals etc what about the others that don’t? Those that mix, produce, the sound engineers, those that rent out the recording studio, those that play the instruments on the songs, the back up singers etc all work on commission and rely on their hard work being fairly compensated. Most of the behind the scenes people do not get paid a flat fee but rather royalties, so you think it’s fair ripping off everyone else’s time and hard work because you don’t want to pay $10 for an album? *insert eye roll here* So whilst you wouldn’t go to your job and expect to work for free, the whole Spotify thing is ensuring everyone not just the singers are being fairly paid, otherwise just say you’re cool with Spotify, a big company making a profit at the expense of others..

  • Sarah G

    All of this. This is about people not wanting to pay a few bucks for what is essentially the hard work of numerous people. If you want it and can’t afford to buy it then that’s your problem and it certainly doesn’t mean you should get it for free. I can’t afford a car right now but I don’t expect the dealer just to let me use one for free whenever I need it.

  • As

    Her explanation doesn’t make sense. And I bet it isn’t her words any way. Some people whispering in her ears. People have been streaming music for years now. And who takes her words seriously? Music executives and representatives are laughing right now.

  • Маргарита Бабовникова


  • TheOriginalDonald

    The pot said Spotify is taking the music out of the music indeustry

  • TheOriginalDonald

    And of course she has Daddy to fall back on.


  • TheOriginalDonald

    Calling Taylor Swift an ARTIST is like saying Kanye West is a political pundit

  • TheOriginalDonald

    What other artist does BM have on its roster? Also, has she threatened YouTube to pull all of her music on it? If not, she comes off as a big hypocrite in addition to being a big phony

  • TheOriginalDonald

    What I wanna know is how much she paid Kanye to dis her at the VMAs so Nashville would back up that Auto-Tuned, pitchless no-talent

  • Deanne

    That’s a lot of blah, blah, blah when what she’s saying is that she wants every dollar. It’s all about the money.

  • Sad

    This is crazy! She’s acting like she didn’t get paid every time someone listened to her song on spotify! She got paid PLENTY,,(more in one day than the average person gets paid a year). She just doesn’t think it’s enough!

  • annie

    oh boo hoo…poor tyler swift was going to get jipped of a few millions from her coifer of $300mil. Spotify is NOT FREE, are you dense? i know this is going to sound like a broken record to you, but ill say it anyway; Albums do NOT make them the kind of money they once did back in the 90′s. Touring and endorsements are their main source. What artists make per show is more than what they make selling albums. Albums sold is just for numbers.

    and please stop with the “she has to pay bills and blah blah blah.” you make it seem like shes some poor soul whos hanging on to the money made from albums. if that were the case, no one would complain.

  • annie

    its called royalties. as long as the songs are played and touring is going on…everyone involved gets paid. But why worry about writers. Swift is the writer, remember?

  • beara

    What is Spotify? Is it like Pandora?

  • beara

    She deserves to get paid for the work she puts in. This is her CAREER, not her hobby. Do you ever go into your 9-5 for freee??

  • beara

    Then turn on the radio, you’ll hear some Taylor Swift songs :)

  • beara

    Then don’t BUY her music.

  • Meaghan

    There are two ways to look at this – the first is to assume Taylor Swift is all in it for the money and record breaking sales and this is why she’s taken her music off of Spotify.

    The second way to look at this is to read what she is actually saying in her statement. And if you read her Wall Street Journal piece, it will help you understand her perspective. She cares about preserving the music industry. Providing art to people for a price, like paying a painter who painted a beautiful painting.

    Forget that she is rich for a moment. She is talking about supporting and compensating the people behind her album who are actually working jobs to pay the bills. Who have families and homes and send their kids to school everyday. Writers, producers, artists and creators of the music that have struggled and worked hard to get to where they are in the industry. It is important to make people believe in your talent and embody that your talent is worth something. Like a great baker selling their baked goods, or a shoe maker selling their shoes. As consumers, we choose someone because we believe they are selling a great product (or have talent). We save up for it and we purchase it.

    There is something great about going to buy the new album your favourite artist has just released, or getting the perks from purchasing a Deluxe edition, or saving up for a concert. Yes, there will always be those kids or families who can’t afford to do that. I was there once, too. It teaches you to choose who you respect and value and to spend your money wisely. Maybe it isn’t on Taylor Swift or music at all, maybe it’s on an instrument, or College, or whatever is important to you.

    Taylor has gone above and beyond to make sure that her fans know they are appreciated for everything they do, regardless of the money they do or do not spend. She has utilized social media to create a personal connection with her fans. And think about it – if someone wanted her music for free, they could easily search youtube, go on Tumblr, or hell, download it off piratesbay. Taylor has made herself one of the most accessible artists out there to all of her fans, regardless of their economic status or class. And yet, people still say that she isn’t doing it right or isn’t doing enough. If you compare her to other artists, I can’t see how anyone could come close to what she has done for her fan base.

    For people who are saying she shouldn’t live such a lavish lifestyle – she has worked hard for what she has. And she’s been working at it for years – she isn’t some kind of over night success story. Like some celebrities, Taylor does a lot of charitable work that isn’t published or talked about. However, unlike most of her counterparts, she doesn’t advertise her lavish lifestyle to the masses, but instead advertises staying in baking cookies on Saturday night in pyjamas. I would much rather young people look up to her as a role model than some of the other rich and famous young celebrities out there today. If you were in her position, and had her financial status, can you say you’d do the same? Would those be your priorities if you had a fan base?

    If we take a look at the point she is really trying to make, I think it is an important one for everyone to understand. Our talents should be compensated appropriately. I would much rather our youth understand that self worth and self preservation be rewarded than giving in because someone decides that you’re not worth being rewarded for hard work. Good for her for saying she doesn’t agree with Spotify’s platform and for standing up for what she believes in. She makes a great point. Don’t overlook it.

  • Lylian

    Spotify is NOT paying royalties. where would Spotify get money to pay royalties from? Not it’s listeners.

  • Lylian

    Meaghan, ITAWY.

    I’m Chinese and a few years ago when my daughter was about 4 or 5, I tried to buy some good quality Mandarin language DVDs and books for children for her to improve her chinese. You know, the usual stuff like Chinese nursery rhymes, Chinese fairy tales books and audio books that sort of stuff.

    Because I travel a lot, I was able to check out the big Chinese book stores in Beijing and in HK and Taipeh. I also had my friends from China look for me but we could not find any good quality children’s books or DVDs in Mandarin. The nursery rhymes were so awful – the sound quality and the cartoon pictures bore no relevance to the songs being sung. The pictures in the children’s books were poorly done and largely unimaginative.

    Of course, there were a few exceptions like less than a handful. Compared with the huge diversity and numbers of English language children’s literature and DVDs, it was truly noticeable. In the end, I had to purchase dubbed versions. Disney’s princess series which were dubbed into Mandarin.

    The reason for this lack in good quality Mandarin books and DVD’s for children was very clear. Without copyright protection, anyone taking the time and money to produce good quality books and DVD’s would not reap the benefit of her efforts but would be immediately pirated. The end result of this is that even Chinese children who want to see a good cartoon or read a good book is forced to turn to the equivalent of Disney or Pixar or Dreamworks or fairy tales which have been translated from English.

    This cost of the piracy, of not valuing the creative output of people is incalculable. Not just in terms of lost dollars and cents but also in the form of lost culture heritage. China has many many children’s stories and nursery rhymes, but without access to good story books, good DVDs in Mandarin, it’s the western ones which capture their imagination. My daughter grows up with western imagery: blond/brown/red haired, princesses with blue/grey eyes and caucasian features. Chinese children absorb western values, western metaphors because translations don’t translate west to east. Not really. Fortunately for me and mothers like me, many of the Western children’s classics align with my values.

    So, sites like Spotify, they claim to be doing it for the public. But really, they are benefitting from it for themselves. the owners of Spotify would like their site to be popular, would like to IPO it or sell it to facebook or such. Really. but what did they give the people who did the creation of the song? Not just the writers and singers, but the technicians etc.?

    And at the end, unless we take care of the intellectual output created, we could end up like chinese literature and DVD’s for kids – poor quality shiiiittt.

  • moi fid

    well guess what swifty i got your album for free right here no need to spotify

  • Mike

    They DO pay royalties. Music is licensed, and service providers must pay those that own the rights to the songs for using them whether its shopping malls, theme parks or online streaming services. In lieu of charging listeners, advertising revenue collected partly goes towards licensing fees.

  • Soniaintown

    If you don’t like or want to pay for someone’s music, fine, walk away, but don’t expect free music. Asking free music is like getting paid for listening to the music. There’s nothing free in the music world. It costs a lot of money to make music. I respect Ms. Swift.

  • Soniaintown

    You have to understand, Taylor’s music is not just her being an artist. It takes a whole staff and crew to make music and put it out there. Why do you expect other artists to spend time and efforts without being paid?