Taylor Swift's "1989" was never available on Spotify, but now she's pulled her back catalogue from the streaming service as well. When "1989" was released on Oct. 27, it was only available at Target and on iTunes, and its absence from Spotify was an example of "windowing," a popular method which record labels often use to help increase album sales.
When Spotify users searched for "1989," they were greeted with a message: "The artist or their representatives have decided not to release this album on Spotify. We are working on it and hope they will change their mind soon." Spotify's head of public policy, Jonathan Prince, also tweeted at Swift: "Hey @taylorswift13 the haters gonna hate, hate, hate but 40 million+ Spotifiers gonna play, play, play. Don’t let them down for too long. xo"
Now, a week after Swift dropped "1989," all of her albums are gone from Spotify. The service released a statement and a "little playlist poetry for Taylor Swift" on Monday:
We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more – nearly 16 million of them have played her songs in the last 30 days, and she’s on over 19 million playlists.
We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.
PS – Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.
Earlier this year, Swift spoke about streaming and file sharing services as the reason for declining ad sales. "It's my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album's price point is," she wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. She originally held "Red" off Spotify for a few months after its 2012 release.
It seems that Swift's strategy is working in her favor. She's had a record-breaking first week sales, and early projections claim that "1989" could have the highest selling first week by a female solo artist in U.S. history and the biggest sales week since 2002.