Icky. Spotify Goes From Heartbroken Boyfriend to Creepy Cyberbully.

A few days ago we learned that Taylor Swift had decided to “window”her new album and not release it on Spotify.  We also learned that she had removed her back catalogue albums from the Spotify service.

We learned this because Spotify posted this sad little note in which they  begged her to come back to their service.

This of course became a national news story with the press largely lecturing Taylor Swift on “depriving” her fans of her music; Mansplaining that she was making a bad business decision; And generally being mean and greedy.

Bad Taylor.  Poor Spotify.

And then it all turned out to be total bullshit.  Taylor Swift hadn’t pulled her back catalogue from the streaming services.   The albums are available on virtually every other subscription service!  A fact that only a single major US news outlet has noted!  According to Music Ally, Swift wanted her music only on the premium (paid) part of these services.  Spotify refused. They demanded Swift put her albums on the free tier.   Spotify not Swift played hardball.   They didn’t get their way.  She left.

Oh that’s a little different isn’t it?

I mean it’s a little like your friend who comes over to sleep on your couch because his girlfriend broke up with him.  So sad.  They seemed so perfect for each other! You feel bad for him. But the next morning you find out he slept with a flight attendant and tried to make her cat smoke crack.

Oh that’s a little different, isn’t it?

Still that hasn’t stopped Spotify from mounting what now resembles a cyberbully attack on Swift in order to get her to come back to Spotify.  Instead of privately negotiating,  Spotify decided to go public and mount a full throated PR campaign that even features Elevation Partners Managing Director and U2 lead singer Bono  weighing in. Add to that the absolutely unfiltered vitriol that Spotify is allowing in the comments on it’s company blog and it doesn’t look good.  It looks like cyberbullying.

Or  even a “Swift Boat” attack.

And if Swift’s only public interview since this whole thing exploded is any indication?  It doesn’t look like she’s coming back.  Here is Swift earlier today on Yahoo:

“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,” Swift told Yahoo. “And 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.”

Tough luck guys.

About Dr. David C Lowery

Platinum selling singer songwriter for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven; platinum selling producer; founder of pitch-a-tent records; founder Sound of Music Studios; platinum selling music publisher; angel investor; digital skeptic; college lecturer and founder of the University of Georgia Terry College Artists' Rights Symposium.