Here’s Taylor Swift a few months back in the Wall Street Journal on music:
Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.
Very eloquent. Clearly she intended (as she has in the past) on “windowing” her album. That is withholding her album from Spotify for a period of time. Just like TV/Movie industry does with Netflix and Hulu.
So Spotify’s response is to treat her like a teenager and make her a mixtape playlist!!!???
Yikes. It is clearly “Bro-land” over at Spotify.
But that’s not the worst of it. Here are the mostly male music industry beat journalists responding to her decision to not release her new album on Spotify. The very fact they say she “pulled” it from Spotify is in itself loaded. It was never on Spotify. They don’t even get this basic fact right.
Look we get the jokes, but it’s doubtful that if a male artist had so clearly stated his feelings in regards to streaming and the value of music those comments would have been left out of the stories. Nor would he have been treated like a teenager.
And below is Joshua Brustein “Mansplaining” that Taylor Swift is wrong when in fact her strategy makes perfect sense.
1) new album not on Spotify = 1.3 million sales.
2) New albums always generates interest in back catalogue.
Therefore also remove back catalogue album to generate additional sales.
Why isn’t bloomberg interviewing Swift for demonstrating such business savvy and showing the boys how to play the game?
On the other hand Brustein makes no sense whatsoever.
Hey Joshua you write for Bloomberg a money magazine. This is about the money it’s not a “protest.” Protest.. why the fuck would you assume she’s protesting? Cause she’s a woman and emotional? Something like that? Not thinking rationally? Is that what you are getting at?
And Gawker deserves special mention for being too stupid to notice that Spotify is owned by Billionaires. Oh but they are male! That’s right men can be “rich as fuck” assholes like the SnapChat guy and that’s cool. Darn I always forget how this works!
2 thoughts on “Amazing Sexist Spectacle By Music Industry Insiders and Journalists As Taylor Swift “Windows” Album On Spotify.”
Thank you for this, it has made me think carefully about the wording I use when covering this dispute.
I think I’ve used ‘never ever getting back together’ in a headline in relation to Taylor and Spotify before, because the lyrical reference seemed to fit. A Guardian colleague who’s a massive fan of hers (to the extent that his Twitter bio says he’s the Taylor Swift correspondent) slipped a ‘shake it off’ reference into our news story too.
So I wonder if sometimes this is journalists’ love of a pun and/or lyrical shoehorn rather than a deliberate attempt to belittle – although am thinking hard about how it looks when male journalists are using Taylor’s love-related lyrics to cover a business dispute, after reading your thoughts.
I agree with a lot of what Stuart Dredge says here; much of Taylor Swift’s music features lyrics centered on breakups, to the point where I have seen that association being used for comedic purposes well removed from this current situation. Given the modern journalistic penchant for using a pop-culture ‘hook’ in a headline, the preponderance of headlines regarding Ms. Swift ‘breaking up with’ the streaming services is not so much appalling for misogyny as for lack of imagination.
However, the point remains that Ms. Swift is extremely marketable, her music is certainly a profitable business, and the choice of language being used by those (often less profitable) services to characterize the dispute does very much smack of chauvinism.
Personally, as a musician and indeed as a male, I applaud Ms. Swift’s stance, and hope that she is not pressured into changing her mind by the bro-culture so prevalent in the industry.
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