It's Friday, which is good, but there's a surprise debut from Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik, which is even better, no? If you're a fan of two beautiful people weaving their silken vocals together to make one extraordinary sonic tapestry, this is your lucky day. The song appeared in the U.S. iTunes store just before midnight on December 8, but, if you're not an Apple Music subscriber, you're probably wondering if Swift and Zayn's Fifty Shades Darker song is on Spotify. Nope — or at least, not as of the time of penning this article. But that doesn't mean it won't be shortly.
You might be skeptical. Swift's Spotify issues have presumably paid off many journalists' mortgages thanks to the sheer number of thinkpieces generated. TL;DR? The singer removed her songs from Spotify in 2014 because she did not want to "contribute her life's work to an experiment that does not fairly compensate the writers, producers, artist and creators." This would imply that there's no way this song — like any of Swift's work — will ever be on Spotify. However, this isn't just a Swift single, but a Zayn track and that's worth bearing in mind, too.
After all, not only is the entirety of Zayn's discography is available for streaming on Spotify, but he was formerly part of One Direction, who actually helped promote Spotify. Basically, he's got some history with the site. In fact, the whole duet issue is a little bit awkward, since, way back in 2015, Zayn implied that Swift's decision to remove her discography from Spotify was unfair to fans when he retweeted a tweet criticizing her.
I'd argue, given his history with Spotify and the fact that his other songs are all available on the platform, he'll probably pull a Drake. Remember how, this year, Drake released Views on iTunes first and then, a few weeks later, made the album available on Spotify? It proved to be the best of both worlds, with figures suggesting he hadn't hurt his profit margins, but meant he also managed to reach the Drake fans who weren't quite enthusiastic enough to actually shell out money for his music. This would placate Swift but also mean Zayn was consistent with the platforms he chooses to release his music on.
It's hard to imagine that the turnover to Spotify will happen quite as quickly as Zayn's solo material. )"Pillowtalk" was on Spotify the day after Zayn released it via music video.) Since he has released limited amounts of music as a solo artist and not as part of One Direction, it's probably most useful to see how the other major pop artists of 2016 have navigated a double drop (paid platform first, Spotify second).
If Zayn was to follow in the footsteps of Drake and Frank Ocean, who first released their 2016 albums on Apple Music and then on Spotify, we'd be looking at a wait of between roughly two weeks (Drake released Views via Apple Music on April 29 and then dropped it on Tidal and Spotify on May 13) and three weeks (Frank Ocean released Blonde on August 19 on Apple and then made it available on Spotify on September 9). If Zayn was to follow in the footsteps of Rihanna, who released Anti via Tidal before making it available on Spotify, we'd be looking at just over a week. Rihanna is a tricky example to include, though, since her album was available for free digital download for the first day, then switched to Tidal and then finally was available for streaming on Spotify from February 7, 2016.
I'm calling it: we're looking at between one and three weeks for this song to appear on Spotify. And, if you can't wait that long, support your favorite artists with some dollar bills.