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Should EDM Artists Follow T. Swift’s Streaming Music Strategy?

taylor swift

The way in which we consume music is once again shifting, and streaming is the undeniable leader. Despite the overwhelming and continual growth of music streaming, one major artist is fighting against the current harder than others: Taylor Swift. That’s great for her, but is her stream-strategy one major EDM acts should follow?

Swift’s battles with streaming services are nothing new, but with her latest album due out this month, talk of what she’ll do next has begun. As of this writing, Swift and her team decided to keep the full album, entitled Reputation, off of all stream sites for at least the first week, following the official release on November 10th.

Yeah, it’s only for a week. And yeah, several of the singles from Reputation are already available on Apple Music and Spotify. But, Swift and co. wouldn’t be doing this without well-researched reasons relating to revenue. It also gives the ability to showcase the unique power Swift has as an artist in the music industry.

taylor swift reputation art

The cover art for Taylor Swift’s latest album: Reputation.

Streaming may be the now and future of music consumption, but as long as the gap in revenue between streaming and album sales remains as wide as it is, artists like Swift will continue to challenge the status quo. So, could we see major EDM acts try and follow suit?

EDM’s long-term links to streaming sites like Soundcloud, Spotify, and more are nothing new, and much more entrenched than that of other mainstream genres. Considering that history, and the current music industry landscape, it’s hard to imagine bigger names in EDM taking the same stand as Swift.

According to Diplo, whose interview with Rolling Stone leaked this week, the stand against streaming isn’t what the kids want.

“Music is in the hands of the kids. Streaming is literally what kids want to listen to over and over again. They want to listen to Rockstar and Bodak Yellow. They don’t want to listen to, like, Look What You Made Me Do. That music doesn’t relate to them at all. I don’t think it ever did. They were only given that by radio and marketing budgets.” – Diplo to Rolling Stone via Billboard

His opinions aren’t always popular, but when it comes to streaming, Diplo has a point. He’s been in the music industry for more than a minute, and if his discography is proof of anything, it’s that he knows what the people want.

Of course, Swift’s battle with streaming sites isn’t necessarily about who wants what, but who gets paid what. In the current music industry landscape, there aren’t many artists out there with the leverage of Taylor Swift. Much less in EDM, which is generally seeing its decline following years of rapid growth.

Artists are getting creative though, with Kenny Chesney and more are utilizing bundles when selling tour tickets to help boost album sales. While effective for some in helping create a market for album sales, it’s hard to envision this method working across the board for dance music artsits.

Despite the success of some, streaming is the now and future of music consumption. Swift may be able to fight against the trend for longer than others, but her success isn’t easily translatable to major acts in EDM. Let us know what you think of Swift’s moderate stand against streaming, and if you think dance music artists should follow in her footsteps! Comment below, on Facebook, or reply on Twitter!

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Born and raised in the Northwest, professionalized in Pullman. Enjoying the ride that dance music provides in our lovely corner of the country.

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