Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta Explains Why Taylor Swift Was Removed From Spotify

Taylor Swift performs on Hollywood Boulevard for ?Jimmy Kimmel Live? on October 23, 2014.
ABC/Randy Holmes

Taylor Swift performs on Hollywood Boulevard for Jimmy Kimmel Live on October 23, 2014.

Big Machine Label Group CEO Scott Borchetta gave a candid interview about the abrupt removal of Taylor Swift’s catalog from streaming service Spotify during a radio interview with Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx.

Taylor Swift Catalog Removed From Spotify

“We never wanted to embarrass a fan,” Borchetta said during the Nov. 7 interview on Sixx Sense With Nikki Sixx. “If this fan went and purchased the record, CD, iTunes, wherever, and then their friends go, 'Why did you pay for it? It's free on Spotify.' We're being completely disrespectful to that superfan who wants to invest.”

The removal of Swift’s music from Spotify came during the week of her new album release, 1989, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The set sold 1.287 million copies in the week ending Nov. 2, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In a blog post following the decision to pull her music, Spotify wrote: "We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy."

Official: Taylor Swift's '1989' Debuts With 1.287 Million Sold In First Week

During his interview with Sixx, Borchetta noted that Swift’s music will only be available on pay-to-stream services like Beats Music and Rhapsody.

“We determined that her fan base is so in on her, let's pull everything off of Spotify, and any other service that doesn't offer a premium service,” he said. “Now if you are a premium subscriber to Beats or Rdio or any of the other services that don't offer just a free-only, then you will find her catalogue.”

Borchetta believes other artists will follow in Swift’s footsteps. "It’s already happening. I've had calls from so many other managers and artists,” he said. “There's a big fist in the air about this. Spotify is a really good service, they just need to be a better partner and there is a lot of support for this."

Listen to the full interview below.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.