Rhapsody’s senior director of content programming Garrett Kamps has published a blog post giving some more details: “Taylor Swift and her management made a decision not to make her new album available to Rhapsody’s million-plus subscribers for several months.” We’re guessing the same applies to rival services.
“At Rhapsody, we count stuff, and we know we have hundreds of thousands of subscribers who listen to Taylor; we know that many of you are diehard fans who attend concerts, buy T-shirts, all that stuff. Is Taylor mad at you/us? I don’t think so,” he writes. Kamps has also suggested that fans tweet about the issue using the hashtag #wherestaylor, although it’s yet to catch fire.
Where’s Taylor? Well, she’s on Grooveshark – we streamed ‘Red’ in full this morning while writing the Music Ally Bulletin, just to check. Where’s Taylor? She’s on YouTube, with every track on the album easily accessible on Google’s video site. Where’s Taylor? She’s all over BitTorrent, although Google appears to be fielding dozens of DMCA takedowns for links to the downloads.
One final Where’s Taylor? She’s on iTunes, with a “Mastered for iTunes” version of the album. The risk Swift’s management is taking is that fans who don’t want to buy ‘Red’ will be driven to unlicensed sources to stream it.
The album will sell like hot cakes, of course, and will generate plenty of streaming revenues when it does eventually launch on Rhapsody and the rest. But those streaming services can be forgiven for feeling sore at losing out on ‘Red’ at launch, when it’s so easily accessible elsewhere.
Update: After a tip that ‘Red’ was legitimately available on Scandinavian streaming service WiMP, we checked in with Aspiro which runs it. And yes, Taylor’s new album is available to stream on WiMP. Which we might put down to its lack of a free tier, but that applies to Rhapsody too. Curiouser and curiouser…