Musician Taylor Swift recently made the decision to remove her music from popular music streaming service, Spotify. The decision is only one incident in a chain of behavior from music artists who have recently spoken out about issues they have with Spotify and other services that allow for free streaming of their music.
In a recent interview with Time magazine on Nov. 13, Swift said that “this shouldn’t be news right now,” citing an op-ed Swift wrote for the Wall Street Journal on July 17. In the op-ed, Swift wrote that “…the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on […] the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace. Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently.”
This current conflict in the music industry has generated mixed reviews.
“I would suspect that she’s probably right,” Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies and member of local band Passerine David Brain said. “I just don’t buy the idea that pirating is entirely the cause.”
Others even see Swift’s decision as counter-productive to the issue.
“I think that it’s kind of a selfish move on her part,” transfer student Kourtney Eskins said. “I understand why she would want to make more money. But I think she already makes way too much money. I don’t think that she produces enough value in the world.”
CEO and sponsor of Spotify, Daniel Ek, posted a response to Taylor Swift’s decision on another sister website, Spotify Artists.
Ek cites piracy as the culprit of decreasing music sales, and points to the over $2 billion in royalties paid to artists by the web service as proof that they not only pay artists, but manage to allow artists to make a substantial profit. “The music industry is changing-and we’re proud of our part in that change-but lots of problems that have plagued the industry since its inception continue to exist.”