Gwen’s Influencer Q&A with LinkedIn; Album Withheld from Spotify Till April 1 (Updated)

Update!

Good news, Spotify users! Gwen’s new album is set to hit the streaming site starting April 1.

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Gwen sat down with Executive Editor of LinkedIn Daniel Roth for a new interview and piece on staying true to herself while being a successful songwriter and entrepreneur. She’s now listed on LinkedIn and seeing her accomplishments all in once place is pretty impressive. In a video interview from the studio, Gwen talks about living in the present, staying honest with herself while designing and creating and social media.

She penned a blog for their site with a focus on the three constants in her life: “I remain real to myself, pure about the project and true to my whole aesthetic.”

Billboard also points out that Gwen’s new album is currently being held from free streaming sites i.e. Spotify. It’s not clear if the album will eventually be added but it’s only available on paid sites like Apple Music and Tidal now.

It’s an incredible interview — check it out below courtesy of LinkedIn.

42 Replies to “Gwen’s Influencer Q&A with LinkedIn; Album Withheld from Spotify Till April 1 (Updated)”

  1. I use Linkedin a lot to promote my job skills and to look for new business, it was fun to follow her as an influencer.

    I thought that “trend” had passed from not sharing it for free on Spotify. I was a paid user and then moved to Google Play Music (cheaper), so I was totally unaware this was still happening.

  2. Hmmm…Taylor and Adele can get away with not sharing it for free since their albums are guaranteed to sell well, but I don’t think this is such a good idea for Gwen. She needs all the help (and word of mouth) she can get!

    1. Perhaps Gwen felt that standing in solidarity with her fellow artists (many of whom are her friends/acquaintances, including Taylor) in this instance was more important than boosting chart position. I could see Gwen feeling and thinking that way.

      In any case, the formulation for the Billboard Top 200 is quite different to that of the singles charts. Pure sales account for the bulk of the algorithm. Digital track sales (e.g. when you buy an individual track for US$1.29 on iTunes) count as follows: every 10 individual tracks belonging to an album = 1 album sold (therefore, sales of singles, per ten units, count towards album sales; conversely, digital album sales have no direct impact on the chart position of singles). Streaming counts as follows: Each accumulated 1,500 streams of songs belonging to an album = 1 album sold. Billboard also maintains a pure sales only album chart (similar to the pre-digital age chart, and based solely on SoundScan). Think it’s called the Top 100 Album Sales Chart, or some such.

      Gwen’s streaming numbers remain weak though (mainly due to her long hiatus between solo albums), so rather ironically, this in fact mitigates the effect of the album’s absence from Spotify.

      TiWtTFL is currently #1 on iTunes. If she holds onto #1 throughout most of the coming week, that will bode well for the album’s Billboard chart position, particularly considering the massive marketing push by Target could result in the siphoning of iTunes sales (since one can sync physical copies to iTunes, if access to a CD-drive is available).

      Finally, for those worrying that only two tracks (Asking 4 It & Truth) so far, besides the singles, have charted on iTunes, this could just be that people aren’t cherry picking individual album tracks to buy, but are simply buying the entire album. If that’s the case, that’s not a bad thing! 🙂

      1. I know how Billboard works. As I said, she needs all the help she can get. Gwen standing in solidarity with other women would be nice, but I think the record company just wants to make the most profit it can.

        And if fans buy the entire album on iTunes, that would still help individual singles. It’s not just “cherry picked” ones that chart. It’s odd that even the Fetty Wap track hasn’t cracked the top 150 on iTunes.

        I’d be curious to know how many fans bought a physical copy vs. digital. I would guess most went for the physical because of age or wanting the bonus tracks. I wish I could start a poll haha

        1. I’m truly sorry Amanda, I didn’t mean to imply you didn’t know how Billboard works. I do not know what anyone and everyone does or does not know, but in hindsight, I should have made that a general post, not a reply. The purpose of my post was to offer a positive perspective and counterpoint to concerns over the Spotify situation.

          Now, I’m only able to visit the site once or twice a day, so I can’t really do the back and forth thing effectively, and I fear I’ll miss some replies/responses, so I try to anticipate possible objections and questions ahead of time and construct a comprehensive post around that. That bit of information was there to support my point, and also for anyone else reading the thread who may be interested in the topic. I fancied the thread could potentially mirror the one about the singles chart a few weeks back. On that thread, someone asked what the formulation was for charting singles, and another promptly responded with the requisite info. I’m sure we can all agree the weight proportioned to streaming for singles is rather high, so I do think it’s worthwhile noting that the streaming component for albums is significantly lower. As someone else here pointed out as well, Gwen’s streaming numbers are low anyways. But a third point I previously left out is that streaming inevitably siphons actual sales, so whether you have one and not the other, or you have both, things should tend to even out.

          I agree with you that every bit does count, but in this instance my own opinion is that, album-wise, Spotify’s impact on Gwen may in fact not be as significant as Gwen’s ability to potentially impact Spotify (and the way it compensates artists, songwriters and producers for their creative work). It may be a coincidence that mere hours after it was reported the album was being withheld, Spotify settled the first of several multi-million dollar class-action lawsuits (on grounds of gross under-compensation) brought against it by creators and musicians (note: NOT record labels, since artists sign contracts directly with Spotify). But I do think it’s no coincidence that shortly after making what must have been a deeply-considered decision, Gwen joined influential, industry-centric LinkedIn and promptly posted a much-lauded, humanizing essay on her art and the creative process, accompanied by the video Q&A where she actually addresses the question of fair creative compensation.

          1. p.s. – I meant to add that I think (though I’m not 100% certain) that based on the patterns I’m seeing, album sales only directly boost the singles during the pre-order phase, since the singles are instant downloads upon pre-ordering. Once the album officially drops though, only individual track purchases will impact on the singles chart. Whole album downloads only count for the albums chart. This would fairly replicate the buying and charting of physical singles and albums, as per the good old days. Otherwise, wouldn’t every single track on every top-selling album simply inundate the iTunes Top 100? It would be weird seeing 10 or 12 tracks from a single artist bunched together…

            That said, the singles and the insta-grat track (Misery) are currently at 16, 37, 43 on the iTunes Pop Chart, and MMLY has climbed all the way back up to #34 on main chart, and even long-lived UTLY has re-entered the Top 100! 🙂 I expected this to happen, tbh, and I reckon it’s because of previous promotion/exposure (videos, radio, etc.) that the singles are the best known and therefore the most likely to be cherry picked. It’s likely that Asking 4 It is being downloaded as an individual track by select Fetty Wap fans (but I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them are still somewhat leery because it’s a song by a quirky-glamorous “pop” artist). I’d imagine Truth is being picked not just because it’s a gorgeous track, but because it’s the “title” track. It’s actually a little difficult for an uninitiated listener to properly distinguish tracks from previews alone, and in this age of limited attention spans, many actually don’t bother beyond a quick one-time preview, if at all.

  3. Well, the album wouldn’t get many streams on Spotify anyways (all the singles from “Truth…” flopped really hard on Spotify), so I guess it doesn’t make much of a difference? Gwen is just not a streaming artist tbh. I don’t get the intention, though. Do they really think that people will actually go and buy the album just because they can not listen to it for free on Spotify? There’s many oher ways to listen to music “for free”…

  4. this is the first time i hear she being arrogant..

    “this is my “gift ” u have to pay for it”

    wow Gwen rly? u r rich alrdy.. and ull never be poor, i am poor and i been a fan since lamb’s era, what else do u want?

    1. I’m not sure if she said that she thinks that way. She was talking about some other artists. It wouldn’t make sense if she said in the same interview that she made the album ’cause it’s like a terapy for her.

      1. Thanks for getting it, Matheus. It’s a little sad that some long-time fans are taking that statement personally, when in fact Gwen was referring to artists and artist compensation in general.

  5. its obvious, she is not sharing her music for “free ” streaming, so dat confirms the point, she wants to get “some compensation” for her musik as she said because its her gift.

    It wasnt needed to be said, but i understand gwen at some point.

    1. This is what she actually said:
      “With the current state of music, so much beautiful, amazing stuff is coming out of it,” she says. “Yeah, it sucks that we’re in a place where the value of what you do is less now, but if you’re really honest about music, are you really doing it to make money? How can you put money value to music? Of course, part of music is to stand there and be like, ‘Pay me the money! I made the music! This is my job! This is my gift!’ … For me, when I’m making that music, I’m making that music to save myself, to express myself.” [Excerpt courtesy of Billboard.com.]

      I think she’s just being honest and frank about the compensation part (although she probably knows some fans will not take kindly to hearing the “truth”). Do you, in your daily life, work for free? Don’t you expect to be fairly compensated for every bit of hard work you do? Or does being “rich enough” now come with a “free labor” penalty for having been successful? Right, “I’m rich, so please rob me now!” By the way, I’m sure you know that right in the middle of her hiatus from making music, Gwen donated US$1 million of her own money to the Japanese Tsunami Children’s Fund (that’s not the exact name, but you know what I mean). So if Gwen is “rich enough” then let her spread her wealth as she sees fit, instead of insisting she allow herself to be robbed by Spotify!

      The battle between artists and Spotify is NOT about the denial of “free” music. What you consider to be “free” is simple paid for by somebody else. In this case, Spotify is making money from alternative revenue streams — e.g. subscriptions/up-sells for premium services, and the record labels pay them for placement. From all the many millions Spotify has generated for itself, it has grossly under-compensated the artists, songwriters and producers who created ALL of the music that Spotify “sells”. That is why there are several pending high-profile lawsuits brought against Spotify by artists, notably the first of which was settled just hours after Gwen made her stand on the issue. Perhaps after all the lawsuits are settled, and Spotify stops virtually stealing from hardworking talented individuals (the MAJORITY of whom are NOT rich), then maybe artists like Gwen, Adele and Taylor will return to support a “sustainable” free music streaming model. Anyway, that’s what she said on the topic — make of it what you will.

      1. I saw the entire video, and I get where she’s coming from.
        We are all aware of what she has done so far when it comes to helping others in need, you quoted the Tsunami event, she also donated BIG to San Diego, to several children’s hospital and others.
        Her income comes from her music and from other business ventures, that I think bring most of her income nowadays, I doubt that putting music for free streaming would cause her to bleed or loose money. On the contrary, it would bring her more exposure, people that is interested will eventually buy her music.
        I just think it’s was a bit akward, that’s all. I do work for money, but I would never go to a client and say, pay me money for my talent and hardwork. The whole Spotify thing was a blow to me, cause in the past (during the ROS era), both her and the boys were PRO Napster and free music share.

        1. Cynthia – That is why i said “I am sure you know…” but in any case I wasn’t directly replying to you when I mentioned the Tsunami thing. I would definitely presume that you of all people would already know all that. My whole post was a reply to LAMB, because he or she insinuated that because Gwen was rich, she was being greedy, and did not care for her fans or the poor (or rather, a fan who is poor). The point of the Tsunami example was to show that Gwen is generous rather than greedy, and that she cares for the less fortunate.

          Again, I repeat — artists vs Spotify is NOT about denial of “free” music. Doesn’t matter whether the music is paid for or not, if not by the consumer then “someone” else will pay for it, whether it be advertisers, the record labels or premium subscribers. Spotify may like you to think they are some kind of “Robin Hood” charity service sharing free music with the world (and they count on your support by maintaining that illusion), but make no mistake — they are in the business of making money, just like any other business. The issue is that from all the money generated by Spotify, are the artists being paid their fair share? The answer is NO, and that is why Spotify is already settling class-action lawsuits for under-compensating artists. Now, Taylor, Adele, Gwen, et al, can perhaps afford to not worry too much about the difference between say, half a million and a million, but what about the average struggling artist? The major artists are NOT involved in the lawsuits. It’s all brought by lesser known artists. The major artists are supporting their brethren because they remember what it’s like to be a struggling artist, and how important it is to fight for royalties, without which there would be far less great music! The fight is to protect the integrity of all musicians and their work. As music fans, shouldn’t we be supporting this as well? Free music is not so much at risk here as is the size of Spotify’s profit margins….

  6. BTW… I’m not a paying user on Spotify and just enjoyed listening to a bunch of her songs… LOL
    MMLY, Misery and UTLY are up for free listening, same goes for all her albuns expect TIWTTFL. So it’s not her MUSIC, is her new album only, maybe it’s a plan to boost sales.

  7. Yeah, idk about this. The free version of Spotify is so limited already (Shuffle mode is the only mode of listening, Ads every two songs, only a certain amount of playtime per day) that I think its kinda unfair of Gwen to withold her music from fans that might not be able to necessarily afford it. This whole “lets not put the album on a free site” attitude that artists are taking seems so arrogant and pointless in my opinion. Having said that, I think this move is definitely the influence of Interscope’s greed as opposed to Gwen’s.

    1. The message on Spotify is that artist or label choose not to share. Big money comes from concerts not from sales. It’s obvious she wont tour, she needs sales to make some profit from TIWTTFL.

  8. @Echoustic

    she knows how music works now, if she doesnt like it, then stop making more money from it.

    apart from dat, if shes good enough to donate 1m to tsunamis ppl , she must give me money too, as me being her most loyal fan, i’ve been devoted to her for years, and what kind of compesating am i getting? my idol, saying ” pay me the money for my gift, or UP YOURS” how sweet.

    It is arrogant, she doesnt need to say it. dats it.

    BTW, her cd is woth 5 working hours for me. Do u know what it is? its almost a whole journey.

  9. If you’re using Spotify (as I do) I fully understand why you would want to defend that use, but some of you are choosing to view this situation solely through your lens as a consumer wanting access to free music, and that lens only. In doing so, I feel you may be failing to see things from the flip side, i.e. the average artist’s point of view. If you can’t fairly assess both sides of an argument, that may or may not be an obstacle to objectivity.

    As I said earlier, and I repeat this, the feud between artists and Spotify is NOT about denial of “free” music. And NO, this is not a repeat of the Napster situation. All the music on Napster was already PAID FOR IN FULL when someone first actually bought a CD. The argument for the consumer was that having paid for the CD, it’s then their right if they choose to share the CD they now own with family, friends or anyone else. The extension of that argument is it’s okay to then share that same CD with thousands or millions of others through P2P. That is the consumer point-of-view argument Gwen and No Doubt agreed with.

    NOW, the Spotify situation is very different. Yes, Spotify does pay the labels well enough for use of songs, that is why NONE of the labels are complaining or even involved in the lawsuits (and also why the labels have allowed their artists to sign individual contracts directly with Spotify, instead of negotiating those same contracts on their clients’ behalf — open your eyes and ears, the labels are surreptitiously complicit and in cahoots with Spotify, not against them!).

    But the music is NOT PAID FOR IN FULL by Spotify to then share with others (i.e. you and me) for free, because artists ALWAYS need to be paid too Otherwise, tomorrow’s potential “greats” would starve or at the very least be unable to dedicate themselves to their craft full-time, and future great art may be lost to the world — does anyone even care about this in this myopic “me first” day and age?

    In this regard, an “average” musician who gets say, a “decent” 50,000 streams per month is paid LESS THAN US$3.00 by Spotify for that month — that’s right, mates, that’s THREE MEASLY DOLLARS for the month. Work out the arithmetic, it’s a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of ONE CENT per stream. That is daylight robbery of the average musician, folks! A less than average musician can feasibly earn $3 on a bad day busking for an hour or less. Now, correcting this basic wrong may actually mean precious little to the bottom line of “RICH GIRL” Gwen, but to the up and coming struggling artist, it may very well mean EVERYTHING.

    If you think this feud is all about TAYLOR or GWEN or any major artist, then you are WRONG. Not one major artist is involved in the lawsuits, which are being brought on by average struggling artists, many of whom are unsigned and unrepresented. Taylor was the first major artist to support these average artists in the their fight against Spotify (by negotiating to restructure the standard Spotify contract, but Spotify refused and so she withdrew her music). Many including Adele have followed this lead in choosing to withdraw/withhold part or all of their music in solidarity against Spotify (note: SPOTIFY, not the consumer), and now Gwen has as well (so, if you can follow the progression of this, you should see this is not Gwen suddenly becoming “arrogant”).

    And why wouldn’t they? Just as consumers choose to see things from their own point of view, so too will an artist tend to see things from the artist’s point of view. Why wouldn’t they stand in solidarity with the many struggling artists who suffer the most from being fleeced by Spotify? That was them when they all first started out and were struggling to eek out a decent living, e.g. Gwen was still living with her parents, and had to cobble together 25 cents to buy a taco because the band had spent all their money on recording equipment…

    Just because we use Spotify, and I do too, doesn’t mean we have to be defensive about that as a means to justify our continued use. I’ll continue to use Spotify to help Gwen’s streaming numbers, because singles are about 1/3 dependent on streaming for chart placement (that is why Gwen’s singles are on Spotify). Ditto for all other artists I support. For new or unsigned acts, I prefer to use SoundCloud, since they pay creators fairly for use of their material. As for albums, streaming counts for far less, so artists can withhold albums from Spotify to make a principled stand on this issue or for whatever other reason, AS THEY SEE FIT. That is their RIGHT to choose, whether you agree or not, whether you like it or not. And they are in fact RIGHT in that choice, because Spotify has already admitted as much to wrongdoing by settling millions in underpaid royalties in the first of the class-action lawsuits just yesterday. So apparently the pressure from the major artists has paid off, and average struggling artists will be the main beneficiaries of this. Now the money Spotify shares with creators can actually pay for a decent dinner, or hopefully more.

    In the meantime, consumers such as ourselves will continue to access and enjoy free music on Spotify as if nothing happened. But as a music fan more so than a mere consumer, I personally do prefer to know exactly what happened and why. I know that if upcoming artists aren’t able to pay the bills, they might eventually be forced to give up on the dream (I have personally experienced this in the past and I can tell you it can and will change the course of your life, so maybe this shapes my perspective on this topic). Regardless, instead of just being denied some “free” music, ultimately, we’d all end up being denied music that could have been potentially “good” or even “great”, not just for ourselves but for all future generations of music lovers. Beyond personal experience, that means something to me as a present day music lover.

    I’m not against Spotify as a free music service. I’m not against “free” music per se, as long as the business model is fair to everyone, especially musicians without whom there’d be no music. I’m willing to pay for everything I need and can afford, including music. If I can’t afford it, I abstain. On the other hand, I have used and will continue to use Spotify for free in order to help streaming numbers for Gwen and other artists I support. I’m happy Spotify has settled yesterday, and that now some artists will get a better portion of their fair due. I wanted to understand what Gwen said, and why she decided to withhold the album from Spotify, and after reading up a bit (including the opinions on this site), I believe I do understand, and that is what I’m trying to share here. My two cents anyway, and may I remind you that’s more than artists have been getting from Spotify per several hundred streams…

    @ LAMB — Isn’t the reward for for all your devotion the enjoyment of her music all these many years? You pay for a CD once in your lifetime, and you can enjoy that same CD for the rest of your life… In the case of solo Gwen, that’s 3 CDs, if you buy just the albums, which should give you mostly all of her music up to this point… that music should pay for itself in enjoyment many times over in a lifetime, wouldn’t it? And by being her “most loyal fan”, hasn’t her music changed your life for the better in some way, any way? Do you really think it’s fair to compare yourself and your situation to CHILDREN who lost their parents, homes and just about everything of value in their lives to the tsunami in Japan? So, you think you deserve “free money” as much as they needed food, clothing and shelter that was paid for by Gwen’s charitable donation? Really, you seriously want Gwen to pay you for being a fan?

    1. Well, well, well, I hate to be one to say “I told you so” lol 🙂 and I’m not suggesting for a moment that Gwen masterminded or did this all on her own, but I really do think her her withholding the album (and then posting her essay + the video Q&A on LinkedIn) was something akin to the last straw for Spotify. As I said, within mere hours of Gwen withholding the album, Spotify quickly settled the first and most important of the class-action lawsuits for somewhere in the region of US$30 million (this is the figure being widely reported, but it’s unconfirmed and disputed). I also said that with the suit now having been settled, that the major artists could or would eventually return to Spotify. And, lo and behold, Spotify has now announced Gwen’s album will be available for users on April 1st (providing this is not some cruel April Fool’s joke on Spotify users, LOL 🙂 — well, I really do hope it’s not). Cheers!

      1. You can see it that way, but I see it as confirmation that Interscope and Gwen wanted to maximize physical and digital sales vs. streaming in the first couple weeks of the album’s release. Gwen is amazing, but I highly doubt her withholding Truth was the “last straw” for Spotify LMAO

        1. I had replied to Leah that big money to the artist comes from touring, since she’s not doing it, it was a ploy to make the most of sales. If it was for the same reason Taylor did, she would remove her entire catalog.

          1. EXACTLY. Why withhold one album? She would have removed her entire catalog if she wanted to make a statement about Spotify LOL I believe Interscope withheld Truth to maximize their profits because they know this album will sell the most in the first couple weeks of its release and they wanted to get as much of a return on their investment as they could. Truth is not going to have the longevity that Adele, Rihanna or Taylor’s albums have had. It was a business decision.

          2. Hmm, Cynthia, you read the FB Q&A, right? She says she wants to tour BADLY. She’s just now figuring a way to tour with “three monkeys” 🙂 remember that? She’s not lying about that, right, I hope? Anyway, if she does tour, then would you open your mind to possibility that she has done what Taylor did, but on a smaller, subtler scale?

            Also, with all due respect, I don’t get your “entire catalog” argument. If Taylor wanted to make a statement she could have also done that by simply withholding “1989” — that alone would have already hurt Spotify quite badly, don’t you agree? She didn’t necessarily have to remove her entire catalog. Really, she cold have done either — withhold a forthcoming album or withdraw her entire — either way, statement made.

            Gwen doesn’t have to follow Taylor exactly to make her own statement. She can choose to do it in her own subtler way, as a Gwen would, not a Taylor. Besides, the circumstances are somewhat different. As widely reported, Taylor was IN negotiations with Spotify when those negotiations broke off because Spotify refused to budge. So it’s quite likely Taylor was pissed. So acting out of a sense of injustice and anger, she chose to cut off ALL ties with Spotify — to do that she would have had to pull her entire catalog, no? You can read from her FB post how impassioned Taylor was about the situation, and her decision to use FB shows she wanted to make the issue a very public one (I personally think this was a mistake because sometimes when disputes become very public, BOTH parties will dig their heels in deeper — this is not ideal for negotiation).

            For Gwen, we do not even know if she was negotiating actively/directly with Spotify (at least not until this weekend). She could simply have informed them she was withholding the record, or have Interscope do that on her behalf. The LinkedIn post would have then “informed” Spotify of the reason, in a very subtle, non-offensive way. And because LinkedIn is more targeted, and far less public than FB is, there would be less chance of it being perceived that Gwen was trying to embarrass Spotify. So in this way, Gwen was articulating her position artfully and tactfully, but trust me, the message would not have been lost on Spotify. Try putting yourselves in Spotify’s shoes for a moment, and I think you’ll be able to see that.

            So, again, why not just REMOVE HER ENTIRELY CATALOG, you say? Because, unlike Taylor, Gwen has no wish or need to cut off ties with Spotify. Nor does she need or want a public feud. Taylor already tried to strong arm Spotify, and it didn’t work. So how could “little” (but smarter) Gwen succeed with the same methods where Taylor failed? Well, by doing exactly what she did. Withholding the album and precision targeting Spotify’s top brass through LinkedIn = leveraging and “negotiating” from a position of strength. If you can move the negotiation with a veiled “threat”, then you do that and only that. You don’t jump ahead and try to wound, maim or kill the other party. You want to try to move the negotiation in your favor, not end it.

            Anyway, all theories, lol, both mine and yours. As I’ve said in another post, only Spotify’s top brass really know what moved them to finally settle. I’d like to think the prospect of losing yet another likely #1 album proved to be one too many for Spotify. But hey, that’s just me. In this case, we may never know what the truth feels like! 🙂

        2. Hmm, Amanda, I actually quite like you and your opinions about Gwen’s musics, but come on, LMAO? Don’t you think it’s plain rude to laugh your rear off at another person’s opinion that was put forth in a respectful manner? Actually, never mind that that’s disrespectful to me (since I’m essentially nobody to you), but if you really think about it, it’s also quite disrespectful towards Gwen for you to dismiss the notion of her clout in the industry in the manner you have.

          Do you really think Gwen’s ability to be a mover in the industry is that laughable? If yes, then I think you grossly underestimate her. Fashion is as cutthroat a business as music — do you think she could have survived and thrived in both these environments without knowing how to use her celebrity and influence as leverage to negotiate and move deals? If you strip everything down to its core, isn’t this whole Spotify thing, lawsuits and all, just a bunch of “deals” to be negotiated and moved?

          Now, being disrespectful may not have been your intention, but it does “read” that way (from my point of view). You disagree with what I’ve written, fine, that’s your prerogative, but if I’m being honest, your own opinions on the topic are in fact as much in the realm of theorizing as mine. I’ve backed my own “theory” with a timeline of how these recent events have unfolded. While I may not have definitive proof (only Spotify executives would know what did or did not move them to settle), I feel the timeline makes for a strong argument that these recent events are possibly (more so than laughably) sequential. What supporting facts do you have for your own suppositions? Perhaps (and I’m just supposing here), the assumption that all record labels are greedy and/or evil? Well, not all record companies are equal. There are actually some pretty decent record labels out there in the jungle, believe it or not, one of “good” ones actually being Interscope (not that they’re complete angles, mind you).

          In any case, you first wrote:

          “Taylor and Adele can get away with not sharing it for free since their albums are guaranteed to sell well, but I don’t think this is such a good idea for Gwen. She needs all the help (and word of mouth) she can get.”

          And now you write:

          “I see it as confirmation that Interscope and Gwen wanted to maximize physical and digital sales vs. streaming in the first couple weeks of the album’s release.”

          So, which is which, and HOW so “maximize”? First, you thought Gwen couldn’t afford to NOT be on Spotify. And now you think, being off Spotify the first couple of weeks is somehow suddenly optimal? I’m a tad confused here — you can’t have it both ways. So, according to your wisdom, was Gwen and/or Interscope wrong or right to withhold the album from Spotify?

          Imho, while it’s true that Spotify siphons off digital/physical sales, streams do generate revenue (no matter how minuscule) and in part from listeners who wouldn’t want to “pay” for music anyways, and more importantly, as you implied with your first thought, they help with exposure and word of mouth, which in turn helps drive eventual physical sales and downloads. So you could have one (sales) and not the other (streaming), or both, and either way they should eventually even out.

          I still find it fascinating (and telling) that Gwen joined LinkedIn just hours after the album was withheld, and immediately posted her essay and the Q&A video, both of which address: (1.) the “value” of music and the creative process, (2.) the dicey subject of compensation for artists, and (3.) social media. Coincidence? And is it also some happy coincidence that mere hours after the withholding and LinkedIn message, Spotify settles the lawsuit? And on a weekend, when courts and law offices are closed? What was the urgency? Couldn’t they have waited till Monday? And what again was the sudden urgency to then quickly publish today (Sunday) that the album would be available in 12 days time? Again, couldn’t they have waited till Monday to publish that, and what kind of “urgent” negotiation over the withholding do you suppose happened over the weekend to bring about a status change? Seriously, do you really for a moment think it’s nothing to Spotify to not have the likely #1 album in the country/world available for streaming on their service (how many #1 albums were they prepared to miss out on?), never mind the press eventually sniffing around the story? (Which by the way, was only reported on by Billboard, no one else — which brings me to my next point…)

          Let’s think about LinkedIn for a moment… Why LinkedIn, and why that particular essay & video? What was Gwen trying to achieve on an industry-centric site like LinkedIn, which is populated by career-minded individuals and industry executives? Was she merely trying to reach out to fans in suits and/or gen-x hipsters, or was she in fact trying to make her thoughts known to industry movers and shakers? ( Or perhaps a bit of both — I mean, is it completely out of the realm of possibility that the CEO of Spotify could well be a No Doubt/Gwen Stefani fan? 🙂 ) Now, if it were just another calculated move by Interscope to connect her to more fans, where then was the Interscope PR machine, other than conspicuously absent? How come the story was only picked up by Billboard, a trade rag?

          Finally, speaking of Billboard, it was in fact Billboard’s report that first linked Gwen’s LinkedIn post to the withholding of Gwen’s record from Spotify. It’s not some “seemingly” far-fetched theory I simply puled out of my own nether regions… 🙂 Billboard could see it, I can see it… but I guess if someone else doesn’t want to see it, perhaps they just won’t… 🙂

  10. And antagonizing everyone in this thread with an “I told you so” isn’t rude? To quote Gwen…”U Started It.”

    “now you think, being off Spotify the first couple of weeks is somehow suddenly optimal?” When did I say it was optimal? You quoted me, so I’m assuming you must see that I didn’t say that. Yes, I believe Gwen can use all the help she can get to boost sales. I also believe that withholding Truth from Spotify was a business decision made by Interscope and maybe Gwen as well. I don’t feel as though that was a wise decision. No, I did not say all record companies are greedy. Someone else said that.

    Anyway, I’m not going to take this conversation any further because you have resorted to having a condescending tone (according to my “wisdom”? really?). I hope not to engage with you again.

    1. I said: “I HATE to be the one..” to say that, and I meant it. There was no “antagonizing” meant, and if it came across that way to you, I apologize. I really think (in my own mind) that the way things unfolded re: Spotify, that it lends credence to my earlier post. I really did call it when I said that the major artists, particularly Gwen, would return to Spotify once the lawsuit was settled, so I feel I did “tell you so” (well, not “you” specially, but the thread). I didn’t for the life of me think this topic meant so much to anyone, that they would be offended by a “jokey” gloat (please note that I did place a “lol” and a smiley face right next to that, specifically to soften the “impact” of said “gloat”). That’s the simple honest truth. But again, if it did offend, then I apologize because it was certainly not my intention to antagonize anyone (just to try to move my argument forward — but to be fair, weren’t we all trying to do that?). Also, I didn’t put any quotations around wisdom. Note too that I said I liked your opinions about Gwen’s music at the top of the post. So make of that what you will. Truth be told, I myself felt offended and even perhaps somewhat antagonized (now that I think of it) when you first scoffed “LMAO” at my earlier post. So, in fact, to my mind, “U Started It” 🙂 but really I don’t think that matters now. I did also at that point think of moving on from the conversation. But I decided to engage once more, not necessarily to “win” the argument this time, but more both to get the offensiveness of that “LMAO” bit off my chest and to try to at least get you to consider the possibilities as credible (not laughable), even if you disagreed.

      I would humbly like to suggest that discussions can indeed get heated when there is disagreement, and therefore it is often the discussion itself that is antagonizing, despite the actual intentions of the participants. I would hope to engage you or anyone else here in polite banter about Gwen’s music in future rather than these more contentious topics (which in retrospect, probably wasn’t the best idea to begin with). But if you’d rather not, that’s fine, I understand.

  11. I dont need to read the Q&A on FB, since I participaded on it. I know what she said about touring I also know she already stated that it will be hard to do so. At this point there are NO plans, so making the most on sales is what is being done.
    Enough said… I’m also not going continue this conversation.

  12. Well, not too belabor the point again, but this is what I do not get about that “theory” though… On the one hand, you say: .”…so making the most on sales is what is being done”…

    And Amanda G, who apparently agrees with you, says something similar: “I see it as confirmation that Interscope and Gwen wanted to maximize physical and digital sales vs. streaming in the first couple weeks of the album’s release.”

    But Amanda also says: “I don’t think this [i.e. being off Spotify] is such a good idea for Gwen. She needs all the help (and word of mouth) she can get”…

    And she also said: “I also believe that withholding Truth from Spotify was a business decision made by Interscope and maybe Gwen as well. I don’t feel as though that was a wise decision.” Do you agree with Amanda here?

    You see, I actually do agree with Amanda that loss of exposure and “word of mouth” from not being on Spotify is potentially damaging and bad for sales of the album. So, if it is BAD for sales, how then could being off Spotify be about “making the most on sales” (as you say) and how would it “maximize physical and digital sales vs. streaming” (as Amanda says)? Do you see the contradiction here? It simply isn’t very logical to make the assumption that Gwen and/or Interscope would make a business decision (to “maximize” and “make the most on sales”) that isn’t “wise” and would in fact hurt sales by potentially alienating fans, undermining exposure, word of mouth, and so forth. That assumes Gwen and/or Interscope do not know what they are doing (hence, they are not making “wise” decision), but that you do.

    So, yes, we ALL (you, ME, and Amanda) want to move on for this conversation, and yet you keep replying with all these seeming contradictions…

    Another contradiction is the fact you say you participated in the FB Q&A and you know what she said about touring, that she wants to tour badly and is trying to figure out how to do it with the kids. The fact she is CONSIDERING it, and is looking for ways to make it work/happen, tells us it COULD possibly happen. Otherwise, wouldn’t she just say on FB flat out that she has “no plans” to tour? Instead, she says she desperately wants to tour and find a way to tour… And yet, knowing this new information, you still insist there are “NO plans” AS IF you know FOR CERTAIN that there are no plans, or that there’ll be no plans in the near future…. Honestly, and I really mean no personal disrespect here, I don’t think you can know that with such certainty…

    You see, NONE of us work for Gwen or for Interscope (and no, I’m NOT implying you said you do), therefore the fact is we do not know FOR SURE that there’ll be a tour or no tour, and also, we do not know FOR SURE that being off Spotify was about “making the most on sales”. Your version of what happened and why is a THEORY. My different version is also a THEORY. The difference is, contradictions aside, I do agree your theory is one possibility (out of several). On the other hand, it SEEMS that you are unwilling to accept any alternative possibilities other than your own, and it also SEEMS (to me) that you are unhappy that someone else even dared to suggest something other than what you think.

    I never needed you or anyone else to agree with my theory of what happened, but only to concede to the possibility that maybe, just MAYBE, Gwen is a better person than is portrayed in this thread, and that MAYBE, just maybe, the decision to withhold the album from Spotify was made by Gwen to serve a higher purpose…. I am actually surprised that believing in the possibility of a better Gwen in this matter would be so difficult for some of you. And no, this is not about me being a better fan than you or anyone here. This was and is about Gwen. If anything, I now feel I am the more naive fan for having participated in this discussion.

    One day, MAYBE one day, you (and Amanda or anyone else) will come to realize that I’m not the bad guy here. I do know the feeling sucks when someone disagrees strongly with you (I feel that too), but I would like you to know that I argued so strongly here because I believe in the best of Gwen, NOT because I take any joy in disagreeing with you or anyone else. Call me naive or whatever, but I think Gwen is a good person who is always capable of doing good. So yes, maybe I am just a BLINKERED FAN WITH ROSE-TINTED GLASSES ON who “mistakenly” believes that Gwen was being altruistic and trying to do some good here, but is that really so bad? Why am I being made to feel bad because I dared to disagree with you in the process of trying to defend Gwen’s actions? If you may recall, the whole discussion started because someone (LAMB) accused Gwen of being “arrogant.” Nobody, not one of you, stepped in to defend Gwen. You said her comment was “awkward”, and that’s fine — I’ve no problem with that. But arrogant? Do you agree with that? I don’t, and that’s why I decided to enter that discussion. I tried to support Gwen, and come up with a plausible explanation for her actions that just MAYBE might be acceptable, or at the very least plausible, to those who seemed unhappy with Gwen. And now I’m being made out as the bad guy here?

    This is the LAST I’ll post on this topic, as I’ve just now said about all I have to about it. Reply or ignore, either way, I’m now officially done any Spotify talk. Honestly, this was one of the last places I expected to have to defend Gwen so vigorously. YouTube (where I’ve often found myself defending Gwen from accusations of having “sold out”) maybe, definitely, but I really did not anticipate that here, the veritable stronghold of Gwen fandom. And yet, naive as I’ve been, I never did expect everyone or even anyone to agree with me 100%, but just to consider the possibility of higher intent. I only ever wanted to everyone here to keep the faith and try to believe in the BEST in Gwen (and not just her music, but also her character). Have a good day, everyone.

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