Attempting to break Adele‘s record for biggest opening sales week, Taylor Swift has decided to pull her newest record from streaming services for at least the first week. For fans, the only way to listen to reputation on release week (beginning on November 10th) will be to either purchase the album on iTunes or at a local music store. Target will also be selling a collector’s edition of reputation, including a 72-page magazine and poster. This business move comes as no surprise with Swift, as she has a long history of controlling how her music is distributed through Apple Music and Spotify. In fact, Swift only re-released her entire catalogue on Spotify in June this year, causing her records to rise back up on the streaming charts before reputation‘s release.
Although withholding her album from streaming services is best for album sales, is this the right move for Swift in a massively controversial era? In a society that is shifting towards streaming and subscription services, it seems that Swift’s deviation is another attempt to highlight her monopoly on the music industry. Not only does this limit fan access to her music, but it also brings up the issue of product availability and affordability for consumers. People who subscribe to services, such as Spotify and Apple Music rely on new releases being uploaded so that they don’t have to spend $50 a week on CD’s or vinyls from their favorite artists. As a result of such easy access, the prices for CD’s begin to increase because there is less demand for physical copies – thus the pitfall in Swift’s strategy materializes.
reputation is projected to sell more than 2 million copies in its first week, with over 800,000 of those sales in pre-orders alone. The record is currently available on iTunes and in stores.