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Billy Brag Thinks That Taylor Swift's Decision Is 'A Corporate Power Play'

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Billy Bragg

The Taylor Swift controversy continues, and there’s not a day that passes when Taylor and her decision to remove her songs from Spotify isn’t not commented by somebody… if Dave Grohl ‘doesn’t fucking care’ about the whole deal — but his comment is not really relevant to anything — Billy Bragg has now shared his opinion.

In a long post on Facebook, he expressed, better than anybody, the travesty of the situation. he thinks that it is a ‘corporate power play’, and by playing the card ‘I don’t agree to perpetuate the perception that music has no value and should be free’, Swift is misleading everyone: if she really meant it, she would also have removed her music from Youtube and other music streaming services! I said that too, and couldn’t agree with him more, she is a sort of hypocrite at this level.

‘But she should just be honest with her fans and say “sorry, but Sergey Brin gave me a huge amount of money to be the headline name on the marquee for the launch of You Tube Music Key and so I’ve sold my soul to Google’, continues Bragg, who calls YouTube ‘the greatest threat to any commercially based streaming service’. He is right, Taylor wanted to sell us her decision to remove her music from Spotify as ‘some sort of altruistic gesture in solidarity with struggling music makers’, but nobody should be fooled, she is a ‘savvy businesswoman’,  and this is a very calculated ‘corporate power play’.

I guess there’s no reason she would not want to make more money, but she shouldn’t make it look like a grandiose gesture, it’s just a greedy one… But on the other side, is Billy Bragg’s opinion totally pure? He has previously defended Spotify, like in this article, where he puts the blame for the low payment on the labels, not on the streaming service, and according to this article on Music Week, Bragg has a radio show on Spotify, that he has launched this year! So he probably got a deal with the Swedish service… did he sell his soul to Spotify?

Read the full post below:

‘What a shame that Taylor Swift’s principled stand against those who would give her music away for free has turned out to be nothing more than a corporate power play. On pulling her music from Spotify recently, she made a big issue of the fact that the majority of the streaming service’s users listen to her tracks for nothing rather than signing up to the subscription service.

“I don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free” she said in a statement to Yahoo last week.

These worthy sentiments have been somewhat undermined by Swift making her new album and back catalogue available on Google’s new Music Key streaming service…..which also offers listeners a free service alongside a premium subscription tier.

Given that this year is the first to fail to produce a new million selling album, I can understand Taylor Swift wanting to maximise her opportunities with the new record – and it worked: she shifted 1.28m copies of 1989 in the first week of sale.

But she should just be honest with her fans and say “sorry, but Sergey Brin gave me a huge amount of money to be the headline name on the marquee for the launch of You Tube Music Key and so I’ve sold my soul to Google”.

If Ms Swift was truly concerned about perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free, she should be removing her material from You Tube, not cosying up to it. The de facto biggest streaming service in the world, with all the content available free, You Tube is the greatest threat to any commercially based streaming service.

You might ask yourself why Google are setting up a commercial streaming service that will ultimately have to compete with their own You Tube behemoth? My hunch is that they are following a ‘Starbucks strategy’: it doesn’t matter if your own coffee shops on every corner are competing with one another, so long as they ultimately put all of your rivals out of business.

Google are going after Spotify and Taylor Swift has just chosen sides. That’s her prerogative as a savvy businesswoman – but please don’t try to sell this corporate power play to us as some sort of altruistic gesture in solidarity with struggling music makers.’

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