Update: November 9, 2017: Taylor Swift may be keeping Reputation off of prominent streaming services at launch, but there is one way you can listen without buying the album on iTunes or Amazon. This Friday, November 10, 126 iHeartradio stations and the digital station Hit Nation, will air a special Reputation album release party, beginning at 8 p.m. You'll get to hear tracks from the album as well as exclusive audio from Swift's secret listening sessions.
Plus, beginning at midnight tonight and leading up to the 8 p.m. session, you'll be able to listen to a new track at the top of every hour on iHeartRadio.
You can also listen to the entire station here:
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This article was originally published on November 8, 2017.
Taylor Swift is sending a message to streaming services this week: You don't belong with me.
It's a big week for Swift: Her new album, Reputation, is finally dropping this Friday. However, it's looking unlikely that streaming services including Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon Prime Music will get in on the release — at least, not right away. This means that if you want to hear all the new singles, you'll need to pay for the album in full.
From what we're hearing, it looks like Bloomberg got it right: Amazon Prime Music did not have any information about streaming Swift's new album, and Pandora and Spotify have not returned R29's requests for comment.
Apple Music only shared that Reputation will be available for purchase on iTunes, where there is also exclusive behind the scenes footage from the album's music videos. You can pre-order the album on iTunes for $13.99. Four already released singles — "...Ready For It?", "Look What You Made Me Do", "Gorgeous", and "Call It What You Want" — can be purchased individually for $1.29 each. The other 11 songs are not available for individual purchase. Amazon only allows the pre-order of the physical CD for now; there's currently no MP3 or digital option listed for pre-order.
As annoying as it might be for those wanting to hear the album through existing streaming subscriptions, Swift's approach isn't a bad business decision — or one that's all that surprising. She's been an outspoken advocate on issues of piracy and fair pay. She penned a WSJ op-ed on the subject shortly after she removed her entire music catalog from Spotify, which has been no stranger to drama over artist compensation. That year, song rights holders were only paid between $0.006 and $0.0084 per listen. Spotify published a blog post, "On Taylor Swift’s Decision To Remove Her Music" claiming that 70% of its revenue went back to the music community. Other prominent artists, including Jay-Z, have also spoken out against Spotify's policies.
Swift's stance on streaming is an important one for less established artists, since she has the star (and market) power to make services change their tune on fair compensation. In 2015, Swift wrote an open letter to Apple opposing the company's lack of artist royalty payments during its three-month trial periods of Apple Music. Almost immediately, Apple announced it would pay royalties. That prompted Swift to take 1989 to Apple Music, the first platform to stream the album for free.
This past January, Swift seemed to soften her stance when she returned all of her albums to streaming services, including Spotify. However, if she does hold off on bringing Reputation there, she's making another statement about how artists should be treated in the streaming world. Perhaps "Look What You Made Me Do" wasn't just about her beef with other musicians.
Check back here for updates on streaming service availability.