After pulling her entire music catalog from Spotify in 2014, Taylor Swift and the streaming giant have reunited, making her entire catalog of music available to stream once again on Friday morning. There are a few theories as to why Swift chose now to make this move, but Swift’s management team claims it was a simple “gift.”
In a message posted to Instagram and Twitter on Thursday night, Taylor Swift’s management company said the return to Spotify was a gift to her loyal fans, in honor of her album selling 10 million copies worldwide.
Swifts battle against Spotify started in 2014 when she pulled all her music from the service because she claimed they were not paying artists enough money. The following year, she fought back against Apple in a similar way, after the electronics giant launched its new Apple Music streaming service with a free three-month trial, and told artists they would not receive any royalties for those three months.“Three months is a long time to ask people to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing.” Swift wrote in an open letter to Apple. “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.” Shortly after her letter went viral, Apple changed its policy.
“Three months is a long time to ask people to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing.” Swift wrote in an open letter to Apple. “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.” Shortly after her letter went viral, Apple changed its policy.
Many people aren’t buying the “gift to her fans” narrative to this sudden change of heart though. A rumor has been swirling since the announcement that this move could be a subtle (or not so) jab at fellow pop star Katy Perry. The pair has been shots at each other since 2014, and with Perry releasing her album on Spotify today, many think this could be an effort to steal her thunder and sabotage her release.
Whatever the reasoning behind Swift’s change of heart is, it’s likely to only make the streaming giant that is Spotify even stronger. After recently changing the availability of new releases to some users (free memberships must wait two weeks before they become available), and recent lawsuits against the company from artists claiming they didn’t get paid finally coming to an end, it seems like Spotify is finally in the business of making consumers AND artists happy. With the music industry already making the shift towards streaming instead of buying, the industry takes yet another blow with their last notable holdout going to the other side.