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‘Super annoying’: Rental release of Taylor Swift concert film sparks debate

Some social media users aren't happy with Taylor Swift's money-making moves.

Some social media users aren't happy with Taylor Swift's money-making moves. Photo: TND

Some fans hoping to experience a Taylor Swift show at home have been left fuming as her concert film hits streaming platforms.

On Tuesday, Swift announced her Eras Tour concert film – which broke box office records – will be available to rent on-demand from December 13 in the US, Canada and unspecified additional countries.

Renting it will cost $US19.89 ($30); the figure references Swift’s birth year and two of her album titles.

But the cost – which matches cinema ticket prices for the film – and news the rental version will include footage not shown in the theatrical release drew the ire of some Swifties, who said it followed a pattern of “cash grabs”.

Swift’s recent album releases have involved multiple editions of physical and online copies, each with unique features to encourage fans to collect them all.

For example, four versions of the physical editions of her 2022 Midnights album were released. Each had its own front-and-back cover art; when the four back covers are placed together, they form an image of a clockface.

Just three hours after Midnights dropped, an extended version of the album was released with seven additional songs.

Most recently, Swift released 11 physical editions of her album,1989 (Taylor’s Version) – this included CDs, vinyls and cassettes in different pastel colours, featuring unique deluxe posters and Polaroid pictures.

I *just* completed my vinyl collection and suddenly, 2 more announced in 2 days!!
byu/nfortier11 inTaylorSwift

But what really ticked off Swifties was the news they cannot buy the concert film outright and instead will have to pay to rent it again if they want to rewatch it. The streamed version also includes unreleased scenes that will likely tempt those who flocked to cinemas to see the original film.

“I mean I love TS and her music but the cash grabs have been going on for so long with 18 different versions of each album – that always kind of grossed me out and now making [the concert film] only for rent? Super annoying,” one person posted on Reddit.

“Unpopular opinion but I’m kinda tired of her releasing one thing and then different versions of it later,”another wrote.

“I want to buy the thing and that’s it, I know I’ve gotten the complete item. Not dribs and drabs of it.”

But other Swifties came to the singer’s defence, pointing out many theatrically-released movies are initially available for rent on-demand before being included in general streaming content.

“Most movies have a high-priced rental period these days and variant vinyls are common with so many big artists. None of this is new. No one is forcing you to rent early or buy every variant album,” a Twitter user wrote.

“Breaking: Taylor Swift movie hits streaming to rent just like every other movie ever in the streaming era,” another posted.

Swift has yet to comment on the debate.

Topics: Taylor Swift
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