Sorry Guys, Even Though Taylor Swift’s New Album Is Out Today You Won’t Be Able To Stream It
The streaming wars are back.
Today Taylor Swift released Reputation, her first album in three years. But if you were hoping to spend your Friday afternoon streaming one of the most talked-about records of the year, we’ve got bad news: Reputation won’t be available on streaming sites like Spotify for at least another week.
Even though four tracks from the album, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, ‘…Ready For It?’, ‘Gorgeous’ and ‘Call It What You Want’, have already been released for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music, Swift’s camp have today confirmed that the album will only be available to people who purchase a full physical or digital version.
In 2014 Swift pulled her entire catalogue from Spotify, claiming the streaming service devalued music. In 2015 she wrote an open letter explaining her decision to withhold her last album, 1989, from Apple Music. Again, she cited the low rates of pay offered to artists on streaming services. At the time Apple had made a decision to not pay any artists in the first three months of the service’s launch.
Swift’s boycott led directly to Apple reversing its decision and announcing that artists on Apple Music would now be paid.
Streaming services continued to be a Swift-free zone until June this year when Swift ended her war against platforms like Spotify. Her decision to make her full catalogue available online on the exact same day one that Katy Perry dropped her new album was seen as a calculated move to undermine her longtime rival.
Now it looks like the detente between Swift and the streaming giants is over. To listen to Reputation you’ll have to buy a copy online or from a real-life, actual, physical record store. Swift’s label is reportedly still ironing out licensing details with the major streaming platforms and it’s going to be at least a week before you can stream the album.
But this is 2017 and it’s impossible to keep something this popular off the internet. Last night leaked copies of Reputation started popping up online and were pretty easy to get a hold of. However Swift’s label, Big Machine Records, doesn’t seem too worried. They’re predicting the album will sell two million copies in its first week which would make it Swift’s biggest album ever, by a long way.
Will the decision to withhold the album from streaming services work to boost sales or just piss off listeners who have gotten used to listening on Spotify as opposed to buying albums? We’re about to find out very soon.