Taylor Swift has been the subject of a lot of conversation lately. In a year when no new albums managed to go platinum until the third quarter, her new joint 1989 sold 1.3 million copies in a week. She made headlines with her decision to pull all her music from Spotify. And SNL devoted a sketch to Swiftamine, the cure for Taylor Swift onset vertigo. In a new interview, Swift talks about all of that.
Swift’s interview with Yahoo is interesting because it’s more centered around business — around the idea of selling her album — than with the artistic decisions she made. And she talks about those financial decisions, if anything, with more verve and authority than she brings to actual music conversations. Here’s what she had to say about the Spotify thing:
If I had streamed the new album, 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 wiling 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 wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal this summer that basically portrayed my views on this. 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 “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.
And here she is on the Swiftamine sketch:
Oh my God. Swiftamine was amazing. My mom and dad and I were all together watching it, and we were just dying laughing. My favorite part was “Oooh, Taylor Swift, she’s always wearing, like, a 1950s bathing suit.”
You can read the full interview here.
UPDATE: In a new interview with Motley Crue’s Nikki Six, Big Machine Label Group head Scott Borchetta provided some more insight into Swift’s decision to pull her entire discography from Spotify:
We never wanted to embarrass a fan. If this fan went and purchased the record, CD, iTunes, wherever, and then their friends go, “Why did you pay for it? It’s free on Spotify.” We’re being completely disrespectful to that superfan who wants to invest. We determined that her fan base is so in on her, let’s pull everything off of Spotify, and any other service that doesn’t offer a premium service. Now if you are a premium subscriber to Beats or Rdio or any of the other services that don’t offer just a free-only, then you will find her catalogue. […] There’s a big fist in the air about this. Spotify is a really good service, they just need to be a better partner and there is a lot of support for this.