Earlier this month, the debate on whether musicians benefit from streaming services was revisited after Taylor Swift’s record labelpulled all of her music from Spotify.
Since then, Spotify and Swift’s label have gone back and forth disputing the actual royalties received by the streaming service. (Spotify says Swift’s label received $US2 million from the artist’s streamed songs in the past year. The label says it was actually $US500,000.)
If anyone’s going to pull their content off of Spotify, it certainly doesn’t hurt Swift to do so.
Her latest album “1989” generated more than $US10 million in sales in its first week after selling more than 1.2 million copies. She’s the only artist whose last three albums have sold more than one million copies in their debut week.
Over the weekend, during a press day for “Interstellar,” we asked Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer his thoughts on the Taylor Swift / Spotify ordeal.
His response included a passionate critique of the music industry, in which he told Business Insider music shouldn’t be free and came to the defence of Taylor Swift and musicians in general.
Zimmer explained to Business Insider:
I think Taylor Swift, and really honestly, I haven’t quite been following it — I’ve been a little busy — but my point on the whole thing is, you know, it’s very easy to say, ‘Oh, those rich musicians. Their music should be free or whatever.’
It shouldn’t be free. It’s their livelihood. It’s their job. And I’m not talking about the rich musicians. Anybody should have the chance to as their dream say, ‘I want to become a musician and I want to make a living at it.’ You know? And why shouldn’t they be afforded a living? It’s a great big world and if there are millions of people listening to your music and enjoying it and getting something out of it then it’s not a hobby, it’s work.
The composer also explained the importance of original orchestral music:
It’s absolutely ridiculous. Look, one of my big things in life is, I like using real orchestras. I like supporting real orchestras. The way the music industry has run itself into the ground … you know the last place on Earth that really on a daily basis commissions orchestral music is Hollywood. Whatever horrible things you want to say about Hollywood — which are all true — you can’t take away this idea that it’s the last place on Earth that actually supports orchestral music. And I think, it’s just a thought I have, you know, if we lose the orchestra it’s not just about these musicians and their families and their livelihood. You know the loss of the orchestra would be such a rift in our … such a tear into our culture. We as humanity would lose a lot more.
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