I pay for Spotify and I love the service. I can find almost anything I want on Spotify and, while I’m not a big fan of Taylor Swift, at least I knew her songs were there.
Note the past tense on that sentence. See, apparently Taylor Swift decided to remove her music from Spotify because, well… money and piracy.
Swift herself has been an outspoken critic of music piracy and streaming services, which is funny because my paying for Spotify means I’d never had to pirate a Taylor Swift song. (Not that I’d want to, but if the need was there….) There have been several musicians who are openly against services like Spotify and Beats and Rdio and others because they don’t feel they get paid enough for each time someone streams a song. I guess these musicians have never really looked at how much they get from the sales of CDs.
Remember CDs? They were those shiny, easily scratched discs we used to listen to before practically everyone in the world started using MP3. The music industry freaked out and did their best to fight against MP3s because, at first, it never dawned on them that they could sell digital files. Then Steve Jobs came along with the iTunes store and they kinda sorta not really started to get behind the idea of selling MP3s since, after all, that’s what everyone was already downloading for free. CD sales have been dwindling for years because you have a fair amount of people like me who like to listen to music, but do not require more stuff in my house. I’ve got some CDs, and as I find the artists on Spotify or other services, I give them away. I don’t want stuff, I just want music and I’d like my music multifaceted and completely portable.
Spotify, Beats, rdio, and others do exactly this.
As an aside, musicians don’t get any money for airplay on the radio either. Maybe Taylor and others should pull their songs from there.
So we’re back to what I call the “Disney Vault Problem.” The Disney Vault Problem is what occurred with The Lion King a few years back. When I was working at a library, we’d have family after family come in wanting to check out The Lion King. The problem was that all of our DVDs were pretty well gone. Some were simply scratched beyond repair. Others were destroyed. Some lost, stolen, or whatever. The point is, we didn’t have any and we couldn’t replace them either. We couldn’t buy a new copy of The Lion King if we wanted to because it was “in Disney’s vaults” and not for sale at that time. Disney used to pull this in order to create false scarcity and keep the demand, and prices, high for their content.
That doesn’t work anymore. Indeed, it’s laughable to watch them try to make it work.
I watched disappointed kids walk away from the desk, being consoled by their parents. “Don’t worry, honey. We’ll just go home and download it or something.”
You had libraries, and customers, and they both had fistfulls of money to give Disney for a copy of The Lion King. Yet Disney turned up their nose and basically said “No. Not right now. It’s in the vaults, you see?” Yes, they saw, and then they went online and found a torrent. If you’re going to put roadblocks in the way of people giving you money for something, don’t be surprised when those people go around the roadblocks and acquire the content anyway, and you’ll not see a dime for it.
So, if you’re paying for Spotify and want to listen to Taylor Swift, I guess you’re out of luck. Thankfully, there are other solutions since your money and time is no longer any good to her.