Why Do I Support Taylor Swift’s Decision To Pull Songs Off Spotify? Because It’s a Free Fucking Country.

I was asked to provide a 250-300 word comment for the New York Times on the subject of Taylor Swift, Spotify and whether streaming music is the future.  Apparently my thoughts on the subject were a little too “direct” and consequently they won’t be appearing there.  My friends thought they were amusing. Here they are:

Taylor Swift, Streaming and the Future of the Music Business. 

To quote Yogi Berra “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” In 2005 we all thought Myspace was the future.  A music industry without MySpace was inconceivable! You think I’m kidding? Go back and read the articles.

So is streaming the future?  It’s probably one part of the future for certain artists. But not all artists.  And what exactly is wrong with that? Since when are we all required to have the same business model?  And why are we having a national hissy fit because a pop star wants to conduct HER business as she sees fit?
It pains me to have to put this in these terms, but unfortunately the hysteria surrounding this issue requires it:
All artists have the right to monetize and exploit their music as they see fit.  Why? Because it’s a free fucking country.  Now, do we really want to stop being a free fucking country just so that we can have free music streaming?
If Taylor Swift doesn’t like the compensation that she is paid by a venture-capital-backed for-profit company she has the right to say no to that deal.   So do you.  You really want to give up that right?
No. I didn’t think so.  Let’s move along.

 

3 thoughts on “Why Do I Support Taylor Swift’s Decision To Pull Songs Off Spotify? Because It’s a Free Fucking Country.

  1. Mine made it in the NYT comments and I think I finally got it in one sentence:

    “Spotify is what Napster wanted to be, they just waited until piracy had so devastated the market they could make a deal.”

  2. Was the only reason they cut you out was because of the “F” word? ……If so, you should have just cut it out. You’re comments on this need to be heard by the widest audience possible.

    PS

    Loved your comment. 🙂

  3. The NYT, via Future Of Music Coalition, are having another pop at Swift.
    My response (we’ll see if they publish it):
    ‘You’ve projected a negative on to Swift, while purporting to have written a balanced and reasonable take on streaming. Has Swift stated her main goal in negotiating with Spotify was to ‘move units’ as you claim above? I thought she had stated repeatedly she disliked giving away her music for free. She values her work. She was prepared to keep her music on Spotify in the premium paid for category, but Spotify declined to let her do that.
    As an artist myself I respect someone who has principles and sticks to them. It was never about ‘moving units”.

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