To Swiftly Stream or Not to Stream?
A few weeks ago I wrote an article praising Taylor Swift for the bold move of changing genres and styles. A few weeks later it seems she may be changing the face of music itself when she pulled her entire catalog from Spotify.
This was quickly followed by Jason Aldean, pulling his record breaking 3 million streamed album Old Boots, New Dirt. Aldean, in turn, was followed by Justin Moore and Brantly Gilbert pulling their music off of Spotify. http://rol.st/1us5hR6 This lead Spotify CEO Daniel Ek to write a blog post claiming Spotify has paid over two billion in royalties to artists over the years, but aparaently Swift is not getting the cut she feels she has earned. http://bit.ly/1us5RhP
It’s no secret Radiohead and other artists are completely against Spotify and streaming in general. http://bit.ly/1us66t3 .Then there are bands with a wait and see response like U2 saying that streaming is an experiment http://rol.st/1us6FTE while some others like Trent Reznor seeing streaming as music’s future http://bit.ly/1us6WWM .
So, where does that leave us? Has Taylor Swift single handedly taken down streaming? Not at all. Could she be the impetus that starts the fall of streaming? Absolutely! If she is followed by 50, 100, 300 artists streaming will die slowly, but die none the less. I don’t think that will happen either.
What I do think is this is just what U2 says it is, an experiment, and Taylor Swift’s move could lead to a lot of things like new business models, distribution models, royalties adjustments, apps, services, and many other avenues for music, or it could lead to absolutely nothing at all since as of 2013, streaming has become the most popular way people consume music. What Taylor Swift has done has only just begun and only time will tell where it will end.