Taylor Swift the latest artist to abandon Spotify

Posted at 9:29 AM, Nov 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-03 11:16:02-05

If you want to listen to Taylor Swift’s latest album, you’ll have to buy it the old-fashioned way.

It was announced this morning the singer pulled her music from Spotify, including her top-selling record “1989.” Swift is arguably the biggest artist to back away from the popular music-streaming service, but she’s hardly the first.

Radiohead singer Thom Yorke blasted the service in 2013, claiming, “New artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly be rolling in it.”

Yorke pulled his solo work from the service, but hundreds of Radiohead tracks are still streaming from the app today.

Artists are paid from Spotify on a per-stream basis. According to The Guardian, a track that is played 1 million times on Spotify will earn the artist about $6,078. This means while popular acts like Swift will earn from the service, lesser-known musicians will struggle to see any profit.

In a post to its blog this morning, Spotify didn’t clarify a reason for Swift’s decision to leave the service, but it did make a plea for her to return. “We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more,” the release stated. “We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone.”

According to the company’s researchers, Swift’s music was played by more than 16 million users in the past 30 days and was included on more than 19 million playlists.

Several of those listeners took to Twitter on Monday to decry Swift's exit from Spotify.





In 2011, more than 200 indie record labels pulled artists from Spotify,in a sort of protest. Several notable artists have been reticent to include their music on Spotify, including The Beatles, AC/DC and Peter Gabriel, none of whom you will find streaming on the app.

“We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community,” Spotify’s statement indicated.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.