Hey girl! Mad love for your newest album. Really. I bought it an hour after I woke up on October 27th and realized that based on the amount of time it took you to put “Shake It Off” on Spotify, I knew I wouldn’t be streaming the whole album anytime soon, and there was no way I was going to wait. And I’ve since listened that album into the ground. High school freshman me would like it to be iterated here that I’m a Swifty all the way.
But on Monday, you gone done pulled your entire catalog from the service, and now half my Spotify playlists have gaping holes, and the other half will never see tracks from 1989, which would have been perfect complements to the playlists, I might add. And on the reals, I was a bit put off by your recent remarks to Yahoo about why you did it.
Let’s back up. Hi, my name is Danielle, and I am a music pirate. It’s true, I have illegally downloaded a song or two throughout the course of my music-listening career. However, I can say with absolute certainty that I have not obtained a single song through illegal means since I started using Spotify some two years ago. Now, I’m still cheap as hell and won’t subscribe to the service for $10/month, but how’s that for a reformist statement? I no longer have the need to download music illegally.
You said you don’t feel the availability of streaming services (which aren’t entirely without cost, by the way) “fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators” of music, and you don’t “agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free,” but as a self-proclaimed (and others-proclaimed) audiophile, I believe your thinking is a little backwards. I am of the opinion that music is so valuable that you cannot put a number on it; it is priceless. I realize that if I were trying to make a living off my music, and if I were a struggling artist, I might revise those statements and advocate more strongly for the $12.99 tag on my iTunes album, but you are missing a large component of those requirements: you are not struggling. In the least. If you stopped making music this very minute, your Diet Coke deal, your world tours, your Target partnership, your Keds line, your Good Morning America specials, not to mention iTunes and Best Buy (does anybody still go there for music?), and more would feed you (and all your friends and family) for the rest of your life. Even before you decided to yank your music from Spotify, fans bought the greatest number of albums in one week since 2002 “knowing” it would go up on Spotify eventually. In a time when music purchases are down, you, my dear, are up.
So, I ask you to reconsider. For the sake of my playlists and others who cannot afford to shell out $12.99 at the moment but still want to revel in the magic of 1989. You’re too young and hip and the voice-of-our-country-turned-pop-generation to be pulling your music in an effort to strengthen your already sky-high album sales. Set 1989 “free.”
Sorry if that was a bit harsh. Tough love and all. Let’s still be best friends, okay?