Singer Taylor Swift performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" to promote her new album "1989" in New York, October 30, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Taylor Swift, who has withdrawn from Spotify

Taylor Swift, the singer-songwriter, has removed her entire catalogue from Spotify, the music streaming service founded in Sweden. Ms Swift’s new album 1989 sold nearly 1.3m copies in the US this week, and she has written that: “Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free.”

Apple is thought to be planning its own subscription service after a fall in iTunes downloads. Tim Cook, chief executive, paid $3bn in May for the headphone maker and streaming service Beats, co-founded by the producers Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre.

Spotify has 40m users, nearly 30m of whom listen free, and has appealed to Ms Swift to return. “It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes,” it wrote on its blog. Here, to the tune of her song You Belong With Me, is how she might reply:


I’m on the phone with my agent – he’s upset

He’s going off about the royalties I don’t get

So I cannot make the money I ought to


I’m in New York, it’s a typical sold-out night

I’m playing all the kinds of music that people like

And you’ll never fill a stadium like I do


But you like streaming

I like downloads

You’re from Sweden

And I play the banjo

Dreaming of the day when you wake up and find

That not one of my albums is on Spotify


Then you will see

That I’m the one

Who understands that

All these songs I sing

They cannot be free

They belong to me


Streaming my songs for point seven of a cent

I can’t help thinking that this makes no sense for me

Walking in Central Park, saying to myself

“Hey, I will risk piracy”


You’ve signed the music written in this town

I haven’t really seen you smile since I took mine down

You say it’s fine, I know you better than that

Hey, what’s so great about a deal like that?


You like streaming

I like downloads

I’m queen of New York

And you’re big in Stockholm

Fearing for the day when you wake up and find

That not one of my albums is on Spotify


Then you will see

That I’m the one

Who understands that

All these songs I sing

They cannot be free

They belong to me


So many millions listening through the backdoor

All this time how could you not know, baby?

They belong to me


Oh, I remember you driving to my house

In the middle of the night

With a deal that makes me laugh

Well, you know you’re ’bout to cry

You want my favourite songs

Played with ads, completely free

Think I know where they belong

Think I know it’s with me


I’m on the phone to Apple, they’re real neat

They paid three billion to Dr Dre for Beats

You do not get my talent like they do


I’m on a date, it’s a Silicon Valley night

I’m dining with a gay man who treats me right

And you’ll never know my story as he does


’Cause you want freemium

I’m at a premium

I’ve flown from New York

Right to Cupertino

Planning a day when you wake up and find

That not one of my albums is on Spotify


Then you will see

That Iovine

Has understood that

All these songs I sing

Are written just for Tim

They’ll belong to him

john.gapper@ft.com

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