Never mind the General Election – one clear result has come in overnight: Taylor Swift’s music is back on all streaming services, including Spotify and Amazon Music.
According to the Taylor Nation Twitter account – the verified account for Swift’s management team – the move, which kicked in at midnight Eastern Time, was made to thank her fans after her 1989 album passed 10 million sales worldwide and the RIAA awarded her its 100 Million Song Certification.
Spotify then confirmed that Swift was back on Spotify with a statement that read: "We can confirm that Taylor Swift’s entire back catalogue is now available on Spotify for her millions of fans to enjoy."
Swift – never the biggest streaming fan – pulled her music from Spotify in November 2014 in protest at the service’s free tier, which she felt devalued her music. Her music remained available via paid-for services and she subsequently embraced the premium-only Apple Music platform. 1989 went on to score massive sales, even by Swift’s high standards.
Since then, streaming in general – and Spotify in particular – has become a much greater force in the music business, and a presence on the platform has become essential for scoring a hit single and increasingly important for driving hit albums. Swift’s duet with Zayn Malik, I Don’t Want To Live Forever from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, was available on Spotify and duly became a smash on the service.
With new music from Swift rumoured to be appearing at some point in 2017, the move sets her up to continue her chart dominance. Universal Music, which distributes Swift’s music via her label Big Machine, recently signed a deal with Spotify to allow releases to be windowed on the service’s premium tier only – and Swift would seem to be a prime candidate to look at that opportunity.
Either way, Swift’s return is a significant milestone for the streaming format and was actually predicted by Spotify UK head of content programming George Ergatoudis in an interview with Music Week last year.
“Nothing's guaranteed, but I met up with [Big Machine president/CEO] Scott Borchetta personally and had that conversation with him," Ergatoudis said. "It's not a lock-in, but I've got every reason to be very optimistic Taylor Swift will be coming back to Spotify. I'm not saying it's done, but the indications are good, put it like that.”
Amazon Music has also joined the Taylor Swift party, with the deluxe versions of all her albums now available on Amazon Music Unlimited and the standard versions streaming on Amazon Prime Music. The retailer's voice-controlled Echo devices will even respond to lyric-based requests for Swift songs.