Taylor Swift removed her entire music repertoire from Spotify this week in a move earning street credibility from some and baffling others. Did Spotify, subscription digital music service streamed by more than 40 million active users, anticipate buzz around the loss of a notable artist and what can we, as humans (not brands), learn from their tactful and timely response?
Deemed significant by USA Today, ABC News, Time, Rolling Stone, et al., Swift’s stance on low-royalty streaming services and piracy has made global headlines. Let’s take a leap and compare this to life, shall we.
When we face one of life’s many hurdles, what can or should we do?
Spotify’s team quickly posted a diplomatic – yet earnest – plea for Swift’s return. In life, we know when we’re going to ruffle the feathers family members or friends. Small wedding invite list, anyone? No need to put off the inevitable.
Learn from me. Months can pass before “I’ll reach out to so-and-so” actually happens.
know your brand
The adrenaline of impromptu issues can often lead to spinning on your heels and negating your brand essence. Brand? Agency lingo, folks. Keep your core values close and adhere to the voice and tone your advocates recognize.
Huh? Be you.
Spotify’s line, “PS – Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.” made my heart swoon with pure communications pride.
Looking at it from a business perspective, this line may not suitable for a Fortune 200 company deeply rooted in a conservative tone and voice, but it’s the Red Ryder of Christmas gifts for this particular scenario.
I can be the first to admit this tactic is transforming into an overused buzzword; however, as a consumer, this is my sun-ripened blackberry jam.
“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. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.”
Could the percentage be higher? Maybe. Is the percentage delivered directly to the artist? Absolutely not. Labels receive their fair share. What we do know is there are a lot of variables in every situation.
What can we learn? If you’re doing the right thing, you have nothing to hide. Woman up, and tell your story. When you’re wrong. Say so.
Of note: I downloaded Swift’s ‘Clean’ from iTunes for research purposes. It’s not horrible.