Taylor Swift becomes the latest recording artist to call BS on Spotify

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On Monday, Spotify announced that Taylor Swift had broken up with them, and as a result, they had removed all of her music from the popular music streaming platform.

"We hope she'll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone," the company announced via their blog, seemingly unable to shake [it] off such public humiliation. It's unclear what caused the breakup, though from the title of Spotify's post, it's clear the decision was made by Swift and/or her team.


Though the exact details of the breakup haven't been publicized—who knows whether the two will ever ever ever get back together— it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the young singer pulled her music from Spotify. In July, Swift lamented that the current business models were detrimental to musicians' livelihood.

"In recent years, you've probably read the articles about major recording artists who have decided to practically give their music away, for this promotion or that exclusive deal," she wrote. "My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it."

Taylor Swift is not the first artist to think she's better off without Spotify (though she's certainly the singer with the highest profile). Below is a brief history of musicians who have either parted ways with the streaming service, or have put it on blast.

The Black Keys

When The Black Keys released their hit 2011 album El Camino, fans couldn't find it on any streaming service. That, according to drummer Patrick Carney, was intentional.


"For a band that makes a living selling music, [streaming services are] not at a point where it's feasible for us," he told VH1.

A year later, Carney was more explicit about his feelings towards Spotify board member (and early investor) Sean Parker.


"He's an asshole," Carney said while being interviewed by Michigan station WGRD.

"That guy has $2 billion that he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that's the bottom line. You can't really trust anybody like that. The idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I'm not totally against it. It's just we won't put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense."


Turn Blue, the band's latest effort, is also not available on Spotify, though the bulk of their discography is streamable.

Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke didn't mince words when discussing his feelings on Spotify, calling the platform "the last desperate fart of a dying corpse." The Radiohead and Atoms for Peace frontman explained his decision to pull his music from Spotify in an interview with the Mexican website Sopitas, saying that it's the responsibility of musicians to fight against the Spotifys of the world.


"We don't need you to do it. No artists needs you to do it. We can build the shit ourselves, so f*ck off," Yorke said.

Spotify responded to the criticism, saying that they're trying to be "the most artist-friendly music service possible."


"We want to help artists connect with their fans, find new audiences, grow their fan base and make a living from the music we all love," said a Spotify spokesperson.

Yorke's comments prompted a response from fellow musician Moby, who called him "an old guy yelling at fast trains." Moby, by the way, has lobbied for companies like Spotify in front of Congress.


In classic Thom Yorke fashion, the Radiohead front man responded as such:


Yorke's solo stuff, along with his work with Atoms for Peace, is not available on Spotify. Radiohead's entire discography, with the exception of "In Rainbows," can be streamed.

David Byrne

Music legend David Byrne is not a fan of Spotify despite the fact that a good portion of his music—both solo and with The Talking Heads—is available on the streaming service. This, according to Byrne, isn't his choice. He doesn't own his old recordings.


That hasn't stopped Byrne from speaking out against Spotify and its ilk.

"The inevitable result would seem to be that the Internet will suck the creative content of the whole world until nothing is left," Byrne wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian last year.


"Writers, for example, can't rely on making money from live performances—what are they supposed to do? Write ad copy?"

Beyond just being an old man yelling at clouds, Byrne has lent his support to the Content Creators Coalition, an organization that advocates for artists trying to "gain fair treatment from those who profit from their work." In February, Byrne publicly performed "Just a Friend" so Biz Markie, the artist behind the classic track, could get paid.

Alexandra DiPalma is a producer for Fusion Lightworks, Fusion’s In-house Branded Content Agency.


Fidel Martinez is an editor at Fusion.net. He's also a Texas native and a lifelong El Tri fan.

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