Shake it off, Taylor Swift: Superstar ends bad blood with Spotify

9 Jun 2017

Taylor Swift at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards. Image: Tinseltown/Shutterstock

Fans of Taylor Swift on Spotify, Google Play Music et al haven’t been able to listen to the superstar through these platforms, but now that’s all changed.

Artists’ opinions of the major streaming services vary, but many music stars are universal in their dislike of the new business model that replaces easy-to-track album sales with percentage points of a cent on individual song plays.

While some artists eventually decided it would be better off if their music wasn’t on these services, Taylor Swift’s decision to do so in 2014 drew widespread attention.

Future Human

Three years later, however, it seems as of the ‘bad blood’ is over with Spotify et al as Swift’s management company announced on Twitter that her entire catalogue was being made available on streaming services to mark a major milestone for her album 1989.

Estimated to be worth more than $250m, the star commented in 2014 that the streaming industry was too volatile for her to risk putting her name to.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

No more blank space on Spotify

Yet more than a year later, Swift appeared to be relenting on her tough stance on streaming after revealing that her 1989 album would be released exclusively on Apple Music’s platform.

Swift had previously criticised Tim Cook’s company over its royalties agreement with artists, specifically that Apple had said that they would not pay out during the three-month Apple Music trial period.

Her influence in the music industry eventually led Apple to relent on this requirement and, in the following months, agreed to pay Swift and every artist streamed.

This wasn’t Swift’s only dabbling with music streaming as she, along with some of the industry’s biggest names, had signed up for Jay Z’s Tidal service that promised to pay artists a greater share of revenue streams.

Since its launch, the service has expanded into other platforms, most notably the recent announcement of a new film called 4:44 starring Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali.

Taylor Swift at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards. Image: Tinseltown/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic