Mashable’s headline that “Taylor Swift’s YouTube views doubled after pulling music from Spotify” will be raising eyebrows within the music industry, but we think there’s a lot more to the story. It’s based on stats from the US – via Nielsen Music Connect – showing that in the week ending 9 November Swift’s views doubled, and then spiked again by 72% the following week. It notes that Swift’s albums were pulled from Spotify on 3 November. Cause and effect? The trouble is that these kinds of spikes are not unknown around the release of new albums and videos – 10 November marked the online debut of Swift’s ‘Blank Space, for example. We’ve been digging for some more details on global stats for Swift’s YouTube views, using the Tubefilter/OpenSlate weekly top 50 YouTube chart. In the week of 31 October, Swift’s Vevo channel was the 22nd most popular YouTube channel in the world with 33.3m views. The following week (7-Nov) it climbed to 19th with 35.1m views, but then in the week of 14-Nov it shot up to 4th with 59.2m views – the Blank Space effect more than the Spotify effect, we suspect. Which doesn’t invalidate the theory that fans may have turned to YouTube rather than buying her music – but if they did, it won’t have been just her official channel they turned to…

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