The Brag Media
News October 27, 2015

Big Machine, Swift explain decision to withdraw catalogue from Spotify

Former Editor

Both Taylor Swift and a the CEO from her Big Machine Label Group have spoken out candidly about the reasons behind their decision to pull Swift’s entire music catalogue from Spotify.

Speaking to Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx over the weekend for his radio show ‘Sixx Sense With Nikki Sixx’, Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta said it was a matter of respect to Swift’s ‘superfans’.

“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,” said Borchetta.

Borchetta told Sixx that Swift’s catalogue will be available on audio streaming services, however only on pay-to-stream platforms like Beats Music and Rdio.

“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,” he said. “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.”

“I’ve had calls from so many other managers and artists,” he added. “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.”

According to the NY Post, Scott Borchetta is looking to sell Big Machine for a price around the $200 million mark.

Swift’s fifth LP 1989 sold 1.287 million copies in the US in its first week alone and in Australia is the fastest selling album of the year, shifting 43,428 copies in under four days. The 24-year-old Grammy winner spoke to Yahoo Music on Friday, where she said streaming felt “like a grand experiment” and that it doesn’t fairly compensate songwriters.

“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,” she said. “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.

“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,” Swift added. “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.”


Rdio, which offers uses access to internet radio and music vis its paid-for on-demand service, currently boasts Swift’s catalogue sans 1989.

Rdio CEO Anthony Bay said in a statement: “Rdio listeners benefit from our longtime commitment to respecting the choices artists and their labels make about how their songs should be distributed. Let’s always remember that artists deserve a say in how their music is shared with their fans.”


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