Taylor Swift ramps up the streaming wars

Taylor Swift, whose newest album, 1989, is set to break records, removed her entire back catalog from Spotify, according to The Guardian and others.

The removal was first reported on Spotify’s blog, which said that Swift’s music was on 19 million playlists. “We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone,” the company said.

Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s head of public policy and communications, attempted to woo Swift back to the service, tweeting:

It was the latest in the battle between Swift and streaming music services. Swift has tried “windowing” her new albums, which means creating periods when the music is available only for sale. Alex Hern, also in The Guardian, said that sometimes artists withhold their music from streaming services as a negotiating tactic.

Swift’s move comes a week after Apple reported that digital downloads on iTunes had fallen this year.

In a recent column, I wrote that for many consumers, streaming/borrowing/sampling, whatever you want to call it, is allowing people to listen to more music.

But of course, it has to work for the artist too.

Above: Taylor Swift. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File)


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