Billy Bragg has claimed that the real reason Taylor Swift pulled her entire back catalogue from Spotify is that she has signed an exclusive deal with Google to help the company launch their own streaming service.
Bragg offered his own take on Swift’s Spotify decision in a Facebook post, saying that it amounted to little more than a “corporate power play” and stating that the US singer’s claims about how music should not be free are “undermined” by his understanding that her music will appear on Google’s new Music Key streaming service. However, a spokesperson for Swift commented: “Taylor Swift has had absolutely no discussion or agreement of any kind with Google’s new music streaming service.”
Describing YouTube as “the greatest threat to any commercially based streaming service”, Bragg said Swift should “Just be honest with her fans and say ‘sorry, but Sergey Brin gave me a huge amount of money to be the headline name on the marquee for the launch of YouTube Music Key and so I’ve sold my soul to Google'”. He added that “she should be removing her material from YouTube, not cosying up to it.”
YouTube’s Music Key is Google’s paid for streaming service and is expected to launch today (November 18). As yet, no artists have aligned themselves to the service so Bragg’s claims remain unproven.
Swift withheld her latest album, ‘1989’, from Spotify when it was released earlier this month and then subsequently decided to remove all of her previous releases from the streaming service.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently stated that Swift is missing out on a potential £3.7m through her stance.