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Swift pulls her music in Spotify spat

Spotify has stopped streaming Taylor Swift's music at her request, setting up a business struggle between the leading provider of a new music distribution system and the industry's most popular artist.

The music streaming service said Swift's management told it to pull the music late last week and it was done on Monday, so all her songs are no longer available to its 40 million users.

"We were both young when we first saw you, but now there's more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay," Spotify said. "It's a love story, baby. Just say yes."

Swift's single Shake It Off was the most-played song on Spotify last week.

The decision means a large number of fans will have only one option to hear her new album, 1989, and that is to buy it, which hundreds of thousands of people have already done.

More than 700,000 people bought 1989 in the first two days it was on sale last week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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Nielsen music analyst David Bakula said Swift (24) is on target to challenge the 1.2 million copies she sold in the first week her last album, Red, was on sale.

Music streaming services and file sharing have sharply cut into music sales for artists. Many complain that the fees Spotify pays to record labels and music publishers, with a portion eventually funnelled to musicians, is too small.

The 1989 album has never streamed on Spotify, though Shake It Off was allowed on the service. All of the music Swift has officially released in her career was pulled on Monday.

This summer, Swift wrote in the Wall Street Journal that artists should fight to be paid.

"Music is art, and art is important and rare," she wrote. "Music should not be free and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will some day decide what an album's price point is."

Spotify says nearly 70pc of the revenue it receives from paying customers goes back to rights-holders.

People in Ireland pay €9.99 a month for Spotify's premium streaming service.

hnews@herald.ie


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