Taylor Swift will reportedly not release Reputation onto Spotify, Apple Music or other streaming platforms, at least not initially.
Instead, she'll force listeners to buy the album in its entirety.
Swift has had a volatile relationship when it comes to streaming her music catalogue. You may recall she withheld 1989 from streaming services in 2014, but a LOT has changed in three years. As the New York Times points out, streaming contributes to nearly two-thirds of the revenue of the recording industry in the United States; Swift is taking a very big risk by not including her new album onto streaming services.
How do we know this? Four industry execs spoke on the condition of anonymity to the NY Times, saying they did not expect the album to be made available for streaming right off the bat. They suspect she's aiming for a physical sales mark before doing so.
This could be a disaster, but Swift's fanbase is not only massive, they're willing participants. In other words, Swifties have no problem firing up iTunes to buy it, running to Target to purchase their special edition magazine/CD combo and snatching up tickets to her upcoming shows that are bundled with the physical album. It also illustrates still just how immense her influence is – just days away from a major release and the industry isn't sure what she'll do, and it matters.
Either Swift is about to get the wakeup call of the century, or she'll prove just how business savvy she really is.
For more on Swift's streaming conundrum, head over to the New York Times.
Thoughts on Taylor's streaming game? Let us know in Exhale.