Music Will Be Free; On Taylor Swift and Spotify

Taylor Swift caused a stir online when she decided to break up with Spotify and remove all her music from the streaming site. The main issue here being money. From her mouth, “Music is changing so quickly and the landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment,” She also added that she does not believe music is valueless and should be free. And here is where she went wrong. Somehow.

Taylor Swift at the Time 100 Gala, May 3, 2010.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes music is valueless. Artistes spend fortunes writing and making music. The amount of cash spent in making videos and building empires is a lot. And Music is something the whole world relies on to survive. Music is life. But is it really right to say music should not be free? Well it depends on how you look at it.

The internet is a revolutionary thing. Currently, and forever, the internet will remain the best thing ever invented by the human race. In Africa, right now, ‘getting connected to the internet’ is only but opening up. I say this because mobile service providers are still making huge money from selling internet bundles to customers. But internet.org and many other organisations and individuals are rallying up together to make the internet free and accessible to all. And free things always win. Yes the internet will one day be absolutely free and companies which are currently making amazing profits from selling access to customers will have to find a way out or get out of business.

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The same goes for music. This is something every human being wants. This is something human beings can’t live without. Like the internet. The music industry will also need to mature up and find better ways of making money. Selling music albums will not be something in the future. Just like the selling of analogue cassettes and DVDs was phased out, so will the sale of digital albums online. I’m not saying there won’t be digital albums. No digital albums are here to stay. Their sale is not. Music will for sure be free and very soon.

The future will be like this: there will be various streaming sites where users can listen to music free of charge because the internet will be all over and free. Users will sync their favorites and have access to it from wherever in the world they might be. Users won’t be buying music and paying for MP3s. Users won’t be forced and coerced to having albums because artistes need to make money. It is not because artistes shouldn’t make money, it is just where the world is headed to.

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Even now most artistes in Africa for example can’t make money because of piracy and many other things. All over the world artistes are suffering from piracy. Yes YouTube is a good thing but so is TubeMate Downloader for a student in university. Getting any song (MP3 or Full HD Video) to your phone takes less than a minute and you can accumulate as many albums as you want. There are also torrents and other piracy sites. The only way to fight such is to give them no reason to exist. You cannot win any other way against them. If you make things free they will cease to exist. Though no one can make that move just yet.

For now most artistes, especially in Africa have to rely on other forms of making money because selling discs and online albums cannot quite pay the bills. You sell a disk, it is copied and sold cheaply. You upload it on YouTube, it is downloaded and sold. Cheaply.

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Taylor Swift on the other hand will make lots of cash right now since she can. But that won’t be the case in the near future.