We begin with an anguished question from a fan:
WHY ISNT 1989 ON SPOTIFY????????
— Rebecca Black (@MsRebeccaBlack) October 27, 2014
“Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for,” [Taylor] Swift said earlier this year to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.”
Then again, seven years ago a band, without any label input, threw the question open to its fans:
I’m contemplating offering £4.50 — a tad over nine bucks — to download Radiohead’s new album In Rainbows, and after all, the price is up to me.
After a brief discussion, I upped the ante to £4.75.
If there’s any irony here, it’s in the fact that if Rebecca Black ever gets around to releasing an album — she says she’s been in the studio on weekends — she’ll be setting the price for it, unless she signs a distribution deal. (Her singles have been coming out at 99 cents each, with the notable exception of “My Moment,” which carried a $1.29 tab.) I have no idea how much she’s making off Spotify, but it can’t be a whole heck of a lot.