Taylor Swift on snubbing Spotify: ‘I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment’

Singer pulled all of her music from streaming service this week (November 3)

Taylor Swift has revealed the reasons behind her decision to snub Spotify.

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 begged Swift to return in a lengthy blog post asking for her help in “building a new music economy that works for everyone”. “We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy,” they said. “That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.”

However, talking to Yahoo, Swift has now expanded on her stance. “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. “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. And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”

She continued: “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. 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,” she continued. “I didn’t like the perception that it was putting forth. And so I decided to change the way I was doing things.”

It was revealed earlier this week (November 5) that Swift’s ‘1989’ shifted 1.287 million copies in the US in its first week on sale, making it the fastest-selling album since Eminem’s ‘The Eminem Show’ in 2002 which sold over 1.3m copies. ‘1989’ is the biggest-selling album released in 2014 and the second most popular album of the year so far, behind the Frozen soundtrack (released in November 2013).

Prior to the release of ‘1989’ no album by an artist had reached platinum status in the US in 2014. The album is the 19th to sell over 1 million copies in America since Nielsen SoundScan began taking records in 1991. Two of the previous 18 already belonged to Swift with her 2012 album ‘Red’ and 2010’s ‘Speak Now’.

Meanwhile, Swift recently announced a trio of UK live dates as part of her ‘1989’ world tour.

Taylor Swift will play:

Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena (June 23)
Manchester Phones 4u Arena (24)
London British Summer Time Hyde Park (27)

To check the availability of Taylor Swift tickets and get all the latest listings, head to NME.COM/tickets.