Taylor Swift Reveals Surprising Industry Reaction to Spotify Decision
"I didn't think that it would be shocking to anyone," the country singer turned pop juggernaut — featured in THR's Rule Breakers 2014 issue — says of her groundbreaking move to not stream '1989' on the world's fastest-growing service
This story first appeared in the Jan. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
It's easy to forget that when Taylor Swift announced in August that her fifth album, 1989, would leave her country roots behind to be a purely pop project, there were a lot of skeptics — as she might say, a lot of haters ready to hate, hate, hate. But that was four months ago.
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The world's biggest pop star (who has a Twitter following of more than 48 million) has broken records since, with her album selling nearly 1.3 million copies during its first week — the biggest single-week number in 12 years — at a time when record sales are in dizzying free fall. Swift, 25, also became the first female artist to have back-to-back No. 1 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 ("Shake It Off" and "Blank Space"). And her risky decision not to stream 1989 on the world's fastest-growing service, Spotify, magnified the debate over fair royalties during the digital age.
Read more Taylor Swift's '1989' Aiming for Fifth Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200
"I didn't think that it would be shocking to anyone," says Swift. "With as many ways as artists are personalizing their musical distribution, it didn't occur to me that this would be anything that anyone would talk about. But I could never have expected so many text messages, emails and phone calls from other artists, writers and producers saying thank you."
Read below for the full Rule Breakers 2014 list: