Swift, Stuck in 1989

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 9.35.47 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 9.36.00 AM


Well, Taylor Swift’s album 1989 has had the biggest sales week since 2002 which went to Britney Spears with Oops…I Did It Again. Seeing as how she pulled her album from music streaming sites such as Spotify, this should not come as a shock. Forcing people to buy the album in order to find out if they even like it is a surefire way to drive up record sales. Well-played Swift.

The “country” singer now turned “pop” singer is not the first or the only artist to pull their songs or full albums from Spotify claiming that they are not paid enough by the company when their songs are played from the site.

Swift has stated many times that she feels music should not be free and with the release of her new album 1989, she is finally making a stand. But is she taking a stand and fighting the noble fight or is she just fighting for more money?

The pop artist is well out of debt, I am sure, and yet she wants more compensation for her work. Musicians bare their soul in songs, they spend months away from their families while on tour, they push themselves to physical exhaustion; you cannot argue any of these things. What can be argued is that they are paid generously in return to the point where they can afford to let their fans experience their album before committing to purchasing it forever.

The world that we live in, right now, currently, at this point in time is a world crawling with technology and websites and electronics. This may not be good for artists but tough luck, it is a reality, wake up and smell the coffee – it is 2014! Musicians are acting like they are the only industry being struck by this turn to computers. As a journalist, it is almost insulting to write these words while I think about how many newspapers and magazines have gone under due to the tech-boom.

It would be one thing if Swift was fighting Spotify because she felt it hurt her relationship with her fans or it hurt her ability to write songs that connect to people but the fact is, she is fighting for more money. She is not fighting for fame, because she has that; she is not fighting for recognition or kudos, because she has those as well. She is fighting for money, which she also has, but apparently the cut given to her just is not enough.

There is no way that any artist will ever be able to stop the illegal downloading of their music, plain and simple. They should, instead, continue what they are doing and let the benefits they get be enough. If the music created is moving enough, fans will buy tickets to the tour and support careers in that way. Until our society turns its back on technology, this is a reality that musicians are going to have to come to terms with.