While some artists could pull their catalogs from Spotify without a ton of backlash, when Taylor Swift did it upon the release of her immensely successful 1989, the streaming service responded with a “please take me back” letter that, in Swift talk, was somewhere between “Back to December” and “Mean.”
But that plea didn’t seem to work on Taylor. In a new interview with Yahoo, the singer defended her decision to pull her music from the streaming service, saying she’s not keen on the idea of doling out art for free.
“If I had streamed the new album, it’s impossible to try to speculate what would have happened. But 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. “And I’m not wiling 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.”
Swift expressed similar sentiments in a lengthy Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this year. In that piece, she emphasized that music, as art, is valuable, and that “valuable things should be paid for.”
“And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free,” she told Yahoo. “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.’ I didn’t like the perception that it was putting forth. And so I decided to change the way I was doing things.”
Sounds like Spotify’s going to have to step up their apology game if they want Tay back. Perhaps an album in her name?