Major Labels

Big Machine CEO Says He Pulled Taylor Swift Off Spotify So He Didn’t “Embarrass Her Fans”

image from[UPDATE 2] Speaking for the first time since the controversy began, Scott Borchetta, the CEO of Taylor Swift's record label Big Machine says that her music was pulled from Spotify because the streamer refused to restrict her new release to its premium paid service. "We never wanted to embarrass a fan,” Borchetta told Nikki Sixx during his Sixx Sense syndicated radio show Friday. “If this fan purchased the record, CD, iTunes, wherever, and then their friends go, 'Why did you pay for it? It's free on Spotify.'  we're being completely disrespectful to that superfan who wants to invest.” 

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"We always kept her new music off streaming services for 90 to 120 days." As for her catalog, the label boss said Swift's music will only be available on paid-only streaming services like Rhapsody and Beats or those like Rdio who will restrict Taylor's music to its paid or radio-like offerings. 

big machine records“We determined that her fan base is so in on her, let's pull everything off of Spotify, and any other service that doesn't offer a premium service,” said Borchetta. “Now if you are a premium subscriber to Beats or Rdio or any of the other services that don't offer just a free-only, then you will find her catalogue.”

As for Spotify, the CEO said: "They've got a great player… They're a great service, but they need to be a better partner…"

Borchetta did not adress why Swift's music and videos could still be found for free on YouTube.

Will other artists follow Taylor's lead? 

"It’s already happening. I've had calls from so many other managers and artists,” he said. “There's a big fist in the air about this…there is a lot of support…. One size fits all, and that's the problem."


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  1. The only people that will follow her lead are already established artists on major labels. Spotify pays the independent artist pretty well–revenues from that service are now rivaling or exceeding iTunes purchases for us . . .

  2. “revenues from that service are now rivaling or exceeding iTunes purchases for us . . .”
    Any proof of that ?

  3. #yoyo: you can look into Scandinavia. Many artists earn a lot from subscription-services there.

  4. The majors are the only ones who have any leverage. The true indies won’t leave, but the service will die without the top 40 acts which is sad.

  5. ‘Why did you pay for it? It’s free on Spotify.’ we’re being completely disrespectful to that superfan who wants to invest.” What a horses#it statement. people buy things to own them – they want the physical copy, or digital copy that belongs to them (with the ever diminishing freedoms ownership allows). Listening to something for free on the internet is Completely different – otherwise they would have pulled ALL FREE INTERNET SOURCES like youtube. Do your business, but don’t lie – dumb ass hypocrite (Scott Borchetta)

  6. People keep bringing up YouTube, when we all know YouTube plays the SafeHarbor game. Taylor Swift and Big Machine don’t want to get into the piracy debate.
    They wanted to successfully exercise their right to have their work music taken down by Spotify, not play whack-a-mole with YouTube.

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