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Taylor Swift Finally Returns to Streaming, Releases Whole Catalog on Spotify

It’s a reversal of her stand against free tier streaming plans.

About two years ago, Taylor Swift led the charge against streaming services giving artists short shrift. She yanked her whole catalog off Spotify in late 2014 alongside the release of her album 1989, citing the unfairness of free streaming to artists. She left her music on streaming services without free tiers, including Apple Music — but only after a little dispute that ended in Apple agreeing to pay artists royalties during the service’s free trial period.

It was a principled stand not just for herself, but for smaller acts that have a particularly hard time making enough money to get by from paltry streaming royalties. At least, that’s what it seemed like before today, when Swift released her whole catalog on Spotify.

The official reasoning is that Swift has sold over 10 million copies of 1989 and has sold over 100 million songs according to the RIAA, and now wants to reward fans. That’s nice, although it seems to have nothing to do with the business decision purportedly behind the decision to leave services like Spotify in the first place.

But, there has been one little change important for Swift. Her record label, UMG, and Spotify reached a new deal allowing all of its artists to withhold their new albums from free users for up to two weeks. She’ll almost certainly take advantage of that when her new album drops later this year. That said, it doesn’t seem like a substantial enough gain compared to Swift’s vociferous protests a couple years back.

That leads us to the grand conspiracy explanation for Swift’s return to Spotify — one that revolves around some good old bad blood. Swift’s enduring beef with fellow pop star Katy Perry is no secret to anyone these days, especially since Perry confirmed it when she did her Carpool Karaoke appearance with James Corden. The spat supposedly stems from Perry poaching three dancers from Swift when both were on tour, although Perry insists that it’s Swift that needs to make the first conciliatory gesture.

What’s that have to do with Swift reappearing on Spotify? Well, Perry just so happened to have recently dropped Witness, her newest album. That album came out, and suddenly, so did all of Swift’s music on Spotify! There’s zero chance that little coincidence was going to go unnoticed by the internet in the age of Twitter, so sure enough, plenty are suggesting that this is Swift’s way of very firmly saying not sorry.

Whatever the case, the point is that Swift’s back on Spotify. But, we get the feeling the ball’s still in her court — as ever, Taylor can give, and Taylor can take away.

Via The Daily Mail