Another dumping by singer but this time it affects us all, writes Karl Puschmann.

As a grown man I know far more about Taylor Swift than I really should. For instance, I know Taylor Swift is actually pronounced T-Swift, I know she's pals with Lorde which, as I understand it, pretty much now makes her an honorary Kiwi, and I know that she has a penchant for going out with fellow celebrities, breaking up with them and then penning a song that alludes to the romantic dissolution in great detail.

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With assurance and without needing to resort to Google I know her latest album is titled 1989 and that it marks a significant change in musical direction for the young artist.

I can't tell you what she changed from, why she changed or how successful the change has been because I'm not a T-Swift fan.


But I'm also not not a fan, if you know what I mean?

Let me be clear, I ain't hating here. If you want to go and shake it off or whatever, then cool. More power to you. Go shake your shiz off and have fun doing so. I just don't care about her or her music is all. Well, I didn't. Until now.

T-Swift recently caught headlines again for another in her ongoing series of high-profile dumpings. Yawn, I know. Only this time it's not yawn, because this break-up affects us all.

Does that sound OTT? Well, break-ups get a little emotional. There's probably a dozen suitable T-Swift songs I could spin right now that would verbalise the heartbreak and help ease the pain.

The thing is I'll never hear them because her latest dumpee is the juggernaut music streaming service Spotify.

As far as break-ups go this one's got particularly nasty. Toys have been thrown. Dirty laundry has been aired. Things have been said that can never be unsaid. Money is involved. Thankfully children are not. Aside from her fans, of course.

Defiantly, T-Swift packed up her catalogue of world-conquering albums, left Spotify and T-flicked them the T-bird on her way out.

Rather than discuss the situation in song, she has this time let her words speak for themselves. Sitting down with Yahoo of all people (Yawho?), she called out Spotify as essentially being a bunch of cheats and crooks who were freely giving away her life's work for their own profit in what she labelled a "grand experiment".


Spotify answered like a heartbroken fool, pleading for her to return. They cried $6 million worth of tears, claiming that's how much moolah would be in her pocket if she would just see all the cents streaming by and come back.

Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek. Photo / AP

Spotify's very public display has been both cringey and embarrassing, even sinking to the wretched depths of an open letter. What next, Spotify? Poetry?

It's hard to sympathise. Spotify's argument for her return only serves to strengthen her argument for leaving.

Simply, she wants to get paid. Spotify too want her to get paid. They just don't want to pay her very much.

0.006c a stream is Spotify's oft-quoted royalty figure. This cashes in at, roughly, $6000 per one million streams. Or, in layman's terms, bugger all.

Now, I'm no businessman but even I can see how skewed these two numbers look beside each other. It's no wonder she left.

The bigger problem for the unhappy couple is that there's a third number involved. A number even smaller than 0.006, which coincidentally also happens to be the amount I spend on music now; zero.

There's just no need to. I'm drowning in music streams. From the dubiously obscure to the ubiquitous YouTube, any song I can think of is just a click away. Yes, there's something to be said for the convenience and sound quality of premium subscriptions, but for me, free is good enough to get me through the day.

So I find myself stuck in the middle of this lovers' quarrel. I wholeheartedly agree with T-Swift. Girl should be getting paid. I also agree with Spotify in not wanting to be the one paying her.

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Even if these two one day kiss and make up, she won't be the last to ditch Spotify and strike out against the streamers. No matter what happens here the commercial flux cheapening all creative industries is not going to be solved any time soon.

All I know is that pre-breakup I could have simply typed T-Swift into Spotify and legally listened to all the heartbreak she had to offer. For free. Now, post-breakup, I can't listen to T-Swift at all.

Which seems particularly cruel. For is this not the time one needs T-Swift the most? Sadly, she's no longer there for me. I guess this really is goodbye.