Skip to Content

The so-called “feud” between Taylor Swift and Spotify isn’t really a feud at all, but rather the result of a savvy business decision on Taylor’s part.

Spotify compensates artists, but streaming doesn’t pay nearly as well as actual sales, so it’s not hard to see why Taylor would prefer for her fans to go to iTunes or Target if they want to hear her blockbuster album:

“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,” Taylor said in a recent interview.

Taylor Swift Looks Down on You

“I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”


But isn’t 1989 the best-selling album of the year? Isn’t Taylor on track to become the highest-paid female entertainer of 2014. Does she really need the money that comes from album sales when she has tours, endorsements and a million other revenue streams?

Well, it turns out there’s more to the decision to pull her music from Spotify than just money:

Streaming services put the emphasis on individual songs rather than albums, and it seems Taylor believes 1989 works best as a cohesive whole:

“I’d really much rather write a novel than a bunch of short stories,” she says. “I’d rather be known for a collection of songs that go together and live together and belong together.”

And since Taylor’s intense love for her fans sets her apart from most artists as much as her talent and business acumen, her millions of devotees naturally entered into her decision as well:

“I felt like [with Spotify] I was saying to my fans, ‘If you dreate music someday, if you create a painting someday, someone can just walk into a museum, take it off the wall, rip off a corner of it, and it’s theirs now and they don’t have to pay for it.'”

Yes, though it resulted in some minor backlash, Taylor’s decision to pull her work from streaming services was actually another carefully considered step in one of the most skillfully navigated careers in music history.

The girl is good.