Is Spotify Finally Giving In To Taylor Swift’s Demands?

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Spotify May Let Artists Decide If Albums Are Available for Free.

Spotify might let artists release new music only through the service’s paid tier, bypassing the free tier that has inspired criticism from artists including Taylor Swift. Spotify will reportedly start allowing a select group of major artists to make their music available only to paying subscribers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Taylor Swift’s yanking of all her music from Spotify last year was quite the dramatic spectacle—but it wasn’t, ultimately, a game-changer for the music streaming industry. According to a report by Bloomberg, the streaming service will be testing the viability of such a move, marking a massive shift in the company’s stated commitment to free streaming. “We are 100 percent committed to our model because we believe that a free, ad-supported tier combined with a more robust premium tier is the best way to deliver music to fans, create value for artists and songwriters, and grow the industry,” Spotify’s statement reads. “In that context, we explored a wide range of promotional options for the new Coldplay album and ultimately decided, together with management, that Coldplay and its fans would best be served with the full album on both free and premium this Friday.” Coldplay recently skipped a same-day Spotify release for latest album “A Head Full of Dreams” when it bowed Dec. 4.

It’s likely the company’s attempt to cater to popular acts like Taylor Swift and Adele, who have withheld releases from the streaming giant for financial reasons. This year, Adele declined to make her own new album, 25, available on the service — or any streaming service, for that matter — which likely contributed to her staggering sales figures. Music: “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. The company has reportedly discussed the idea in “private talks” and has told music executives that it will test out the feature soon, but has not yet decided which artist to start with, WSJ reports.

Her album then sold 3.5 million copies in a single week, breaking a 15-year record and providing evidence for some that streaming services hurt music sales. 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.” Spotify currently has roughly 20 million subscribers who pay $10 a month for unlimited, on-demand access, as well as 80 million users who are on the service’s ad-supported free tier. But there are potential problems, too: As the Journal notes, Spotify’s decision to reverse course may put it in a new kind of trouble with the record industry if it chooses to offer special treatment to some artists over others.

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