Ownership Matters: Swift vs. free Spotify

In a move that shocked fans and media outlets, Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog from Spotify on November 3rd without any advance notice. Swift was silent for a few days about the issue, and in the meantime Spotify asked her to bring back her music to the millions of fans who were already streaming it.

But when Swift responded on the issue a few days later, her reasoning became clear. It’s not that Swift doesn’t want people to stream her music—clearly people want to stream, and there’s no denying that. She just doesn’t believe Spotify’s model fairly compensates her for her work.

Some songwriters and big-name artists also question whether streaming payouts represent fair compensation. Album sales, unlike streaming, pull a large chunk of revenue forward for artists and songwriters.

If millions of fans are streaming Taylor Swift’s album on Spotify for free, it’s a near certainty that she’s selling fewer albums, and making less than she possibly could if everyone who listened to her album paid for it first. She also wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal about the value of music.

Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek recently explained to artists that “The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you.” He’s asking people to trust him, to believe the numbers will add up in the future if everything goes as planned. But all this, in Swift’s opinion, still seems like a “grand experiment.”

Swift believes the definition of fair compensation is that everyone who listens should pay, and that playing without paying devalues music. “And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free,” says Swift.

Another artist, Amanda Palmer, has a different view. Palmer believes that not everyone who listens should have to pay, because the fans who truly want to support you will support you if they can. And for her, that is enough.

Something to think about is: you don’t have to pick between a streaming service and an album sale. You can buy the album, and stream it also. That’s the service we built at Murfie—streaming for your CD and vinyl collection from the web, your phone, tablet, and more. In great quality too.

Do you think everyone who listens to music should have to pay up front, or do you have a view like Amanda Palmer’s? Let us know in the comments!

Album Preview: “x” by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran XAlbum
x

Artist
Ed Sheeran

Release date
Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Label
Atlantic

Purchase link
Buy album

Preview
Ed Sheeran‘s first major album release, + (pronounced “plus”), was one of the best-selling debut albums in the UK. 125391-largeSheeran had previously released 5 EPs himself, but his commercial breakthrough with + in 2011 quickly got him international acclaim, along with the attention of seasoned musicians like Elton John and Jamie Foxx. Now with his second studio release on the close horizon, the buzz is picking up again, and critics and fans alike are expecting another round of fun, soulful pop that’s enjoyable to listen to.

Wish You Were HereIn 2012, Sheeran kept the momentum going by touring with indie rock aficionados Snow Patrol. He also scored a spot at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, where he performed a cover of the classic Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here.”

125267-largeA strength of Sheeran’s is his songwriting. Not just for his own music, but for his peers in the music industry as well. In 2013, he toured with Taylor Swift, one of America’s most popular pop country stars, and made a co-writing contribution to her wildly successful album Red. He’s also lent a hand writing with UK superstars One Direction.

The HobbitRecently, Sheeran wrote and recorded a song for the film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, called “I See Fire”. It plays during the credits, and also appears on the soundtrack. With so many great experiences under his belt, Sheeran’s upcoming album x (pronounced “multiply”) is sure to keep him on the right track.

 

Murfie preview

Video transcript
Kayla: “Hey guys, another album release is coming to Murfie on Monday, June 23rd: Ed Sheeran‘s new album ‘Multiply’, represented like an ‘x‘. I think that Ed has a lot going for him. He’s really young, and he’s also got a great funny personality that really comes through in his music videos and his social media presence. So this new album has Pharrell Williams as a producer. Pharrell also appears on the song ‘Sing’, with the music video already up on YouTube. Some things that Ed has done in the past that I really like: He contributed a song to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug soundtrack, it’s called ‘I See Fire’ and it plays during the credits. It’s a beautiful song which really showcases Ed’s great songwriting skills. Also, I really enjoy the music video for ‘Drunk’ off of his last album, because it features a cat as one of the stars in the video. I think it’s hilarious and very well done. So the new album comes out June 23rd, you can check it out for yourself—it’s on our pre-order page, murfie.com/preorder.”

Audio-only version

A teaser from x

Pre-order your copy of x today on our pre-order page! Each CD comes with unlimited streaming and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC. 

Grammy Recap: Top 10 Moments

Didn’t get a chance to watch all of the Grammys? No problem! In case you feel like recapping the highs and lows, I’ve compiled the 10 don’t-miss moments. Check ‘em out!

1. 34 Couples Getting Married—By Queen Latifah!

As Rap Album of the Year winners Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed their song “Same Love”, Queen Latifah officiated the marriages of 34 couples.

2. Kendrick Lamar Duet with Imagine Dragons

Rap Album of the Year nominee Kendrick Lamar came together with rock group Imagine Dragons for a performance that created a truly epic fusion of electronic rock and hip-hop.

3. Beyonce and Jay-Z Leave the Audience “Drunk in Love”

The ultimate power couple put on the duet of the night—Hov and B’s version of “Drunk In Love” heated up the room and cemented their status as music’s golden duo.

4. Taylor Swift’s Surprise Letdown

Taylor Swift wore an overjoyed expression when she thought she had won Album of the Year—until she realized Daft Punk was actually being announced as the winner.

5. Yoko Ono Dancing

The late John Lennon’s former wife proved she could bust a move, dancing through Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” and Paul McCartney’s “Queenie Eye”.

6. Pink the Acrobat

Singer Pink showed off her Cirque de Soleil-esque acrobatic ability while her song “Try” played.

7. Pharrell Williams Communicates with Robots

Williams gave an acceptance speech on behalf of Daft Punk, who hid inside their famous helmets after winning the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy.

8. Taylor Swift’s Awkward Dance Moves

During rapper Kendrick’s Lamar’s performance of “M.A.A.A.d City”, Swift jammed out hard. The quality of her dance moves, however? You decide.

9. Macklemore’s Humblebrag

After winning Rap Album of the Year, Macklemore texted fellow nominee Kendrick Lamar to apologize for “robbing” him of the award. He then posted a screenshot of the conversation on Instagram.

10. Led Zeppelin Wins its First Grammy

Although Led Zeppelin has already been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the band was yet to win a statue. This year, however, it earned its first Grammy Award for Best Rock Album with “Celebration Day”.

Do you have any other top Grammy moments to add to this list? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to check out our collection of albums by 2014 Grammy nominees on Murfie.