“Baghdad Bob” Lefsetz Hilariously Claims “Streaming Has Won” as Taylor Swift Sells 1.3 Million Albums

The Trichordist

Bob Lefsetz CMW 2009

“Streaming has won…”-Lefsetz commenting on Taylor Swift’s  1.3 million first week album sales, an album not released on Spotify or other streaming services. (Photo Christopher Harte CC)

This is just a quick note.  I try not give Bob Lefsetz any oxygen… but has anyone else noticed how much Lefsetz and the rest of the usual pro-streaming suspects have begun to resemble the former Iraqi Information Minister “Baghdad Bob?”   They can’t seem to face up to the obvious fact:

 Taylor Swift’s “windowing” of her album has increased sales and revenue!  First platinum record all year.

And should we be surprised? Windowing leads to increased revenue in the TV and Film business why wouldn’t it work for music?

This is actually a rather boring and mundane observation only made interesting by the current irrationality of the music business.  It’s only interesting because so many music business executives and journalists have…

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One thought on ““Baghdad Bob” Lefsetz Hilariously Claims “Streaming Has Won” as Taylor Swift Sells 1.3 Million Albums

  1. I’m not a Lefsetz fan, either. While he does often have *something* to say, it’s hard to tell if he’s taken the thought from someone else and presented it as his own or if he’s just pontificating to hear himself speak. Or perhaps both. With respect to this Swift-ify ordeal, I think it’s multifaceted. I don’t think it’s as simple as Swift taking a major stand against streaming so much as maybe pulling her catalog because Big Machine is on the market. It’s also worth noting that Swift and her family have much to gain if Big Machine is sold at a high price as they own a lot of stake in it. I also wouldn’t be surprised to hear an announcement of a Taylor Swift/Beats Music partnership upcoming. Obviously they need to make a big move soon and they need a major artist to support them. That major artist needs to give them exclusivity – or at least something close to it, and Spotify is the most realistic competition for Beats as Beats has not been able to win over that customer base. In the case of Taylor Swift in particular I suspect that record would have sold really well despite windowing, Spotify, or anything, because she’s Taylor Seoft and has that relationship with her fans. People spend money on her and she’s very lucky that way. With respect to Pandora- its not fair to classify Pandora along with Spotify. While I think much needs to be done by Spotify in terms of their payment structure, Pandora is a very different animal and they have very actively tried to not pay artists anything at all. They tried to draft legislation, have laws rewritten, and Tim Westergren has said they don’t feel they should have to pay artists. Now they’re in spin control mode and trying to act like they’re huge supporters of the artist community, but that simply isn’t so.


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