Taylor Swift removed her back catalogue from music-streaming service Spotify earlier this week because she was unhappy giving her music away to a venture she considers “a grand experiment”.
The “Shake It Off” hitmaker surprised fans by taking all her tracks down from the streaming site without prior notice on Monday. Spotify bosses issued a statement urging Swift to change her mind, and outraged fans launched a petition in a bid to persuade the singer to return to the music portal.
Swift has now explained her decision, telling Yahoo! Music that she does not want to be involved with streaming services until bosses decide on a system which pays artists fairly.
“If I had streamed the new album (1989), it’s impossible to try to speculate what would have happened. But 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. 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.
“And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free… I try to stay really open-minded about things, because I do think it’s important to be a part of progress. But I think it’s really still up for debate whether this is actual progress, or whether this is taking the word ‘music’ out of the music industry. Also, a lot of people were suggesting to me that I try putting new music on Spotify with (last single) Shake It Off, and so I was open-minded about it. I thought, ‘I will try this; I’ll see how it feels’. It didn’t feel right to me. I felt like I was saying to my fans, ‘If you create music someday, if you create a painting someday, someone can just walk into a museum, take it off the wall, rip off a corner off it, and it’s theirs now and they don’t have to pay for it.’ I didn’t like the perception that it was putting forth. And so I decided to change the way I was doing things.”
The move coincided with the release of her new album 1989, which scored huge sales in its opening week by shifting more than 1.2 million copies in the U.S. alone.