Shaken it off! Taylor Swift ends Spotify spat

Singer ends three-year boycott of streaming service over royalties and makes entire back catalogue available to celebrate 10m sales of 1989 album

Taylor Swift has made her entire back catalogue available on Spotify, ending a three-year boycott of the streaming service following a row over artist royalties.

In 2014, the Shake It Off singer pulled her music from Spotify, where she was one of the service’s most popular artists, after bemoaning that artists receive a tiny royalty per song play. Swift, who initially refused to release her 2012 album Red on Spotify, has previously said that “valuable things should be paid for.” “It is my opinion that music should not be free,” she said at the time.

On Friday, the 27-year old announced a volte-face with a statement on her Twitter account, Taylor Nation, that she was to put her entire library, including most recent album 1989, back on Spotify and rival services including Google Play and Amazon Music.


— Taylor Nation (@taylornation13) June 8, 2017

Swift said the decision to return to streaming services was to “thank her fans” for her album 1989 passing 10m sales. However, cynics also pointed out that the timing happened to coincide with an album launch by rival Katy Perry, with whom she has had an acrimonious and public feud going back five years.

Swift is one of the few superstars with a big enough fan base to have been able to boycott Spotify, which has over 50m paying subscribers and 100m users in total worldwide, without damaging their brand or overall sales.

“We can confirm that Taylor Swift’s entire back catalogue is now available on Spotify for her millions of fans to enjoy,” said Spotify.

Swift has also previously attacked Apple Music for not paying artists during its free three-month trial, provoking the company to change its policy. Swift subsequently made 1989 available on Apple Music.

The Shake It Off album cover.
The Shake It Off album cover. Photograph: PR

Swift is not the first artist to withdraw music from Spotify. In 2013, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke called for a boycott of the service over unfair payment practices, removing all his solo projects from the site and describing it as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse”. More recently, Yorke has made music available on Apple Music and Spotify.


Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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