Taylor Swift released her TTPD variants on the same day as Billie Eilish’s album release

In April, Billie Eilish gave an interview to Billboard about her new album and her attempts to change the music industry and make the industry more environmental and less wasteful. One of the big headlines from Billie’s interview was that she said that too many artists are being wasteful with how many variants they do. In music parlance, “variants” are multiple versions of the same album, offered in vinyl, CD or digital. Many big artists are “gaming the system” for record sales and charting by offering twenty different variants of their albums with “new songs” or remixes or what have you. While Billie didn’t name names in the Billboard piece – because multiple artists are guilty of it – many people did think of Taylor Swift immediately. The variant issue is Taylor’s whole deal these days, it’s her modus operandi for dominating the charts and sales. She gets her Swifty army to buy the same album like twenty different times, all to get “new songs” or whatever.

Skip ahead to last week. Billie Eilish released her new album, Hit Me Hard and Soft. On the very same day, Taylor decided to drop new variants of The Tortured Poets Department, an album which had only been out for less than a month. Coincidence or conspiracy?

Earlier this year, Billie Eilish was forced to hit back after she was accused of shading Taylor Swift in comments about “wasteful” artists during an interview with Billboard. Speaking to the publication for a sustainability-centered interview, Billie criticized how normalized it has become for artists to sell multiple variants of the same album. At this point, it’s important to point out that Billie herself sells multiple vinyl variants of her albums, but they all have the exact same tracklist so that fans aren’t forced to buy every version in order to hear all of her songs. She also uses 100% recycled vinyl and scraps for each variant.

“We live in this day and age where, for some reason, it’s very important to some artists to make all sorts of different vinyl and packaging… which ups the sales and ups the numbers and gets them more money,” she explained in the interview. “I can’t even express how wasteful it is. It is right in front of our faces, and people are just getting away with it left and right,” Billie went on. “I find it really frustrating as somebody who really goes out of my way to be sustainable and do the best that I can and try to involve everybody in my team in being sustainable — and then it’s some of the biggest artists in the world making fucking 40 different vinyl packages that have a different unique thing just to get you to keep buying more.”

Taylor Swift did not publicly acknowledge any of the discourse at the time, but people believe they have now spotted some seriously shady activity from the star. On Thursday, it was announced that Taylor will release three new digital versions of her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, on Friday, May 17. Each version includes a first draft phone memo of one of three of Taylor’s songs; either “The Black Dog,” “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” or “Cassandra.” To hear all of the original drafts, fans must purchase all three of the newly available variants at $5.99 each.

And it didn’t take long for people to notice that the three new variants were dropping on the same day as Billie’s third album, Hit Me Hard and Soft — thus putting the two in competition in the music charts.

[From Buzzfeed]

I’m including some tweets below, cited in Buzzfeed’s coverage, which seem to be gaining traction. Like, I don’t pay attention to Taylor’s eleventy billion variant drops because I’m not a Swiftie and I really don’t give a sh-t. Taylor is going to bleed her fans dry if it’s the last thing she does and her fans play her games willingly. The answer is convincing her fans to stop playing her stupid cash-grabbing games. And yes, Taylor absolutely did this on purpose, dropping these digital variants on the same day as Billie’s album drop. Petty petty petty. While I do think Billie was referencing Taylor in the Billboard interview, Billie was also generalizing in the hope that more artists would rethink their wasteful, system-gaming, fan-scamming variant strategy. I hope Billie says some sh-t about Taylor’s private planes next. This could end up being a pretty good beef.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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74 Responses to “Taylor Swift released her TTPD variants on the same day as Billie Eilish’s album release”

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  1. Amy Bee says:

    Taylor’s just greedy and she doesn’t support other artists.

    • It’sJustBlanche says:

      She’s a brilliant at business and she’s a great writer but she can’t sing. I also feel like her popularity is kind of generational. To the kids my daughter’s age, Billie Eilish is someone they respect. Taylor is basically almost their mom’s age.

      • Snoozer says:

        I find her to be a mix of good traits and frustrating traits. But I have to say… there are a lot of tweens and teens in my life and most of them are OBSESSED with Taylor. They love Billie; but Taylor is a goddess to them. I know when her Eras tix went on sale there were endless articles and memes about desperate parents trying to get tickets for their obsessed kids.

        That obsession is actually annoying and my sister and I have had several conversations with my 14yo obsessed Swiftie niece pointing out that Taylor is not perfect, that her doco is from her perspective, and that she has actually done a lot of petty, bullying things and she (my niece) needs to understand the bad and the good.

      • Grant says:

        Yeah, her live vocals are mediocre-to-dreadful TBH.

    • Kerry says:

      They were digital releases TS made.

  2. Kathalea says:

    Miss Kelce Messy. She just can’t help it

  3. Pinkosaurus says:

    This might have been entirely coincidental timing, but no way TS’s team at the label were unaware of the conflict. Even if TS didn’t do it intentionally, she could and should have shifted the release by a few days if she didn’t want the headline. She has no problem with the speculation as long as she has plausible deniability.

    So petty.

    • sevenblue says:

      It is more a respect thing. I have read from many many swifties how Taylor is very considerate while choosing a drop date not to overshadow this artist or that artist. I doubt they would follow small artists, but they would know Billie’s drop date. Maybe, she/her team is doing it to keep her number 1 position on charts a little longer. But, at the end of the day, it looks disrespectful.

      • C says:

        Yes. This is less about making way for other artists and their music than it is a dig at Billie. And Swift has a history of these kinds of digs whether justified or no (unjustified in this case to me). I doubt her number one spot would have been jeopardized by releasing it a day or two earlier/later, but if this is how Swift wants to do business then of course it’s her right. But it is silly imo.

      • Tsar says:

        She “punished” Katy Perry similarly by choosing to return to Spotify the day KP released her flop album Witness.
        I mean, I have to say I did find it amusing as KP also seems like an awful person.

  4. JennyJazzhands says:

    There are so many artists that even if I don’t like/listen to their music, I like how they come off as a person. Taylor is not one of those people. Billie is.

  5. Dee(2) says:

    What Billie is saying isn’t hugely controversial so I don’t understand why anyone would be bothered enough to ” beef” about it, unless they really are just super childish and petty. We should look at our over consumption and do our best to minimize it, and I know Billie’s been doing things with her own packaging and touring to address these issues. There’s nothing inherently wrong with releasing remix or ” variant” albums, but most people used to do it in a few months like six or seven later after the album release not one. I honestly don’t understand why Taylor’s fans would buy an album that just has a different picture or one more song than the version that they already have, but it’s their money. I think this is always why I give her a bit of a side eye. She’s by all accounts very kind to her fans, takes care of her crew very well, and supports her friends but she always does(or consigns her team doing) petty little things like this that really aren’t necessary. It just rubs me the wrong way. And I’ve learned to trust my instincts.

    • HellNah! says:

      Dee, your instincts are 100% correct.

      Pettiness and greed are key ingredients of Taylor Swift’s sauce.

      • Nubia says:

        @Hellnah Right!??? Greed,Pettiness and add Revenge are her reasons for breathing. Like a middle school mean girl,she needs to grow up.

  6. Kris says:

    The variants Taylor released were digital

    • C says:

      Yes, it was mentioned in both the article and commentary that they were digital.

      • likethedirection says:

        Yes, the point here is clearly that Taylor released additional variants on the same day as Billie’s album release to continue dominating the press/headlines/charts because she was mad at Billie’s comments. An incredibly petty move on Taylor’s part and this is why people are calling her out.

  7. Fernanda says:

    I find TS insufferable and not in a harmless way, tbh. My main issue with her is her private jetting. Her carbon print is insane. And being so popular, she should know better, maybe set an example for the young fans. But no. So, needless to say, I find this feud petty and unnecessary and I am on Billy’s side obviously.

    • Truthiness says:

      Taylor’s people say she buys double her footprint in carbon offsets. Perhaps the argument should be which carbon credits truly work and which alternative fuels can actually make a difference.

  8. C says:

    I respect Taylor’s commercial success.

    She has proven time and again she is only a “girl’s girl” to those who are either beneath her level of fame or will basically kowtow to her.

    • Emily says:

      The music business isn’t a charity. A digital voice memo shouldn’t pose any threat to Billie’ success on the charts.

      Taylor is a “girls girl.” She paid Kesha’s legal bills, provided a home to Sophie and her children after the Jonas breakup, and donates a considerate amount of money to charities that benefit women.

      Competition in the music industry doesn’t determine whether someone is a feminist of not.

      I find the whole beef between Billie and Taylor to be manufactured on teens on fan Twitter.

      • C says:

        Nobody said it was a charity?

        Most marketing drama is manufactured.

        Taylor Swift has done some nice things (most people have). But she absolutely has played into the marketing of pettiness towards other women. And the occasional misogynoir.

  9. Luciophe says:

    What Billie is saying is so important because we do overproduce and consume. We push capitalism , sometimes without thought. If Taylor wants to make an serious environmental issue a topic to flex her power and remain number, absolutely disgusting!

    • Lisa says:

      Well what Billie is saying would probably come off better from someone who doesn’t release the most variants pers a album

      • likethedirection says:

        But Billie releases them all at the same time, and they all have the same track list just different art. Taylor pulls a bait and switch on her fans — dropping new variants after they’ve already purchased the original version, or dropping three variants each with a different bonus track so fans buy all of them. I’m not a huge fan of either of them musically but to say that Billie’s doing the same thing as Taylor is pretty disingenuous.

      • VoominVava says:

        But the argument Billie had was environmental, not capitalism. So in that case, she does it too (and she has even said so herself after this interview, when asked about it).

  10. Chase Olivarius-McAllister says:

    Guys, I’m a Swiftie, and I’ve never bought an album. I pay for YouTube without ads. Maybe I’m a cheap Swiftie! But y’all are acting like we’re suckers. You can hear every single song Taylor wrote for free, with no effort.

    Taylor doesn’t need me to defend her. I just feel the need to defend myself! And a fandom that is genuinely vast, and has different levels! (If you wanna spend the money, cool. But you don’t actually get more access to her or her catalogue based on how much you spend… unlike a lot of acts.)

    • C says:

      I agree that it is possible to listen to her music for free and that many fans of hers do.
      But she would not be where she is today if millions of other fans weren’t indeed buying all these versions.

    • LM says:

      @Chase: same here! We’ve got a Spotify family account and that is what I use to listen to her (and all other) music. I can’t even remember the last physical CD I bought.
      I also don’t think one needs to make way for other artists by not releasing music as planned. But I do think that this is clearly part of a plan to hold onto the number one spot for a while longer. And since these are digital releases: why not? Why not make that move if the number one thing is something you care about as Taylor clearly does? That being said: I like Billie’s point about the different (physical) album versions and find it interesting.

    • Abby says:

      This was what I came here to say. I am a Swiftie, I own every album she has, and and got Spotify Premium late last year so I actually haven’t bought ANY of TTPD, despite listening nonstop for the last month. I plan to buy when I can get all of the anthology on a CD, and I’ll buy all of the anthology on digital, just because I like to have it.

      I didn’t even know she was releasing some new variant. This wasn’t a huge album drop. I saw the ads for it and just scrolled on by because it’s not new songs, it’s just… variants. Digital variants. It’s not a big deal and I don’t really care about them.

      I didn’t know what to make of Billie’s comments re: variants, because I believe she herself has released albums with dozens of variants, yes?

      • C says:

        This is an interesting topic and I researched it some. Eilish’s Happier than Ever does have 8 variants and When We Fall Asleep has 9. You can search for the master list of Taylor’s vinyl variants on reddit groups, this site won’t let me post the docs link. There are…quite a few to say the least.
        Little room for comparison imo.

    • Lisa says:

      I am a fan too, and I never buy any of her stuff or the variants, all her songs will appear on Spotify so I pay for that and will listen there. That being said if people want to collect the variants of hers or ANY artist that is fine it is not my business how people spend my money. But this isn’t like Taylor is gatekeeping her music and forcing you to buy it, she isn’t you can get it on Spotify or apple.

      So i feel no need to defend her on the variants other than I find Billie and this conversation specifically gross, because Billie released TEN variants, and used her an entire album role out bashing people for doing it and what she is the worst offender at, so I just honestly can’t take her hypocrisy and frankly the entitlement of how she deserved number one? So Billie’s entire attitude about this subject vs her behavior has left a gross taste in my mouth.

  11. K says:

    Billie is quite right. She’s a person with a conscience and a fabulous artist.

    • LisA says:

      If she feels that way then why did she release TEN variants for this album? Also like 6 different artists released musics or announced NEW music on “Billie’s Day” why aren’t they getting slammed? Also why is Billie entitled to top the chart? Kendrick had no problem taking Taylor down, neither did Sabrina, if Billie has the stuff she can too. No reason to whine and blame Taylor for releasing voice memos.

      Also again if you are going to get on your soap box like Billie did you better not release more variants to your album then ANY OTHER ARTIST. And she did no other artist this year had more variants. So no she isn’t right she is clout chasing and used Taylor her entire album roll out which makes no sense because the girl has talent so she doesn’t need to be doing articles slamming Taylor and Beyoncé.

      • C says:

        Eilish’s new album has 8 eco-friendly variants. Midnights alone has 20 different versions and 8 variants. I assume TTPD will have more coming.

  12. Winnie Cooper’s Mom says:

    So petty. Didn’t TS also do something similar on a day that Olivia Rodrigo dropped an album? Last year maybe? It’s a pattern and it sets a poor example of how to treat other women.

    • Chloe says:

      And one of her songs on TTPD blatantly copies the same theme as Olivia’s “Get You Back.” It’s even called “imgonnagetyouback.” If I were Olivia, I’d be so pissed.

    • Allison says:

      Yes, TS did something similar to Olivia like 2 years ago.

      Taylor is literally a corporation and a brand at this point. Literally. She employees people, has her own legal/HR/pr team, generates millions of dollars in local economies….the list goes on.

      I think she gets a kick out of being petty. Because she can, she’s that untouchable. So, in her head, why not?

  13. Ameerah M says:

    Team Billie. Taylor is a 34 year old woman shadow-beefing with a 21 year old. Grow up girl.

  14. Chloe says:

    FYI to anyone who is curious about the iPhone first demo versions but doesn’t want to give them a download, you can find them all on TikTok. YouTube has gotten copyright claims for all of the ones I found there, but TT still has ’em up. (I really like The Black Dog and wanted to check it out but also can’t stand the petty sh!t she pulls like this.)

  15. Jilliebean says:

    Billie is a tool. She needs to stop preaching at people and she clearly thinks she is better than everyone.

    Good on Taylor for going after her this way.

    • sevenblue says:

      Billie is talking about an industry problem which became a standard for all the artists if they want to be successful. How is that preaching? She wants everyone to do better for the environment. She is also doing things she can. It is very disappointing to consider a young person using her own voice “preaching”. Do you want a young woman to be silent to be considered respectful?

      • Lisa says:

        An industry problem that she actually was the WORST offender of. This album had 10 variants. TEN!!! I don’t agree with her argument on principle but if you make it then you better put your money where your mouth is not be the worst offender while going on about the environment. She loses me on that on.

      • sevenblue says:

        @Lisa, she can’t stop doing that, her label wouldn’t allow that because other big artists are doing it. That is the problem. All big players should stop it. Also, she isn’t incentivizing her fans to buy multiple copies. Taylor made a clock for her fans to buy 4 copies of the same album. In this album, she added different songs to the variants. Taylor’s stans buy multiple copies of the same album most of the time to make her number 1 in everything, just like BTS fans. Like I said, this isn’t just Taylor problem. Every big artist (meaning every big label) should stop doing it to work.

        Billie is also doing a lot of things to reduce her carbon print. This isn’t the first time she commented on solutions when it comes to environmental crisis.

      • Emily says:

        If Billie was sincere, she would release one version of her album.

    • Looper says:

      Ew, sycophant, stay home @jilliebean

    • Get Real says:

      TS could commit actual murder in the middle of the street and her stans would find a way to justify it. Who’s the real tool here

  16. Aj says:

    This evil, nonsinging, variant witch.

  17. Kate says:

    Maybe it’s petty although based on the emails I’ve been getting Taylor has been dropping variants at least 2 times a week since the album dropped so I’m inclined to think it’s just a coincidence.

  18. Sass says:

    Fck it, I am done with Taylor. This is mean girl trash. She is NOT a girl’s girl at least when it comes to supporting younger artists, even worse to those younger artists with arguably more talent who still have the grace to cite her as an inspiration and frankly have surpassed her skill set and deserve a better industry standard, why shouldn’t they become that standard? Oh right bc Taylor has all the money and power and is starting to outright openly abuse it. #TeamAnyoneButTaylor

    • Lisa says:

      You done with Miley and Ariana who also announced and dropped new music on this week? Or do they not matter? Also these are literally just voice memos of Taylor talking about her writing 4 songs they aren’t new you have to be a pretty big super fan to want to buy this it isn’t impacting Billie.

    • Get Real says:


  19. crazyoldlady says:

    sorry – are we asking popstars to coordinate calendars, like the pathetic royal family (that we are all here to skewer?) Asking people to take turns on the top of the pop charts like obedient kindergartners sharing the play structure at recess?? Let’s let popstars be popstars and if you like Taylor’s music or you are a Billie fan – do your thing, buy their stuff, stream their music – and let’s not act like the Daily Mail attacking the Sussex’s every time they leave their house the same time someone in the royal family tries to open a new family center..

    • C says:

      Eh. There’s a massive difference between release dates of musical material dependent on an actual ranking like No 1 vs royal events which at the end of the day are not income streams (except where media is concerned and it’s a different arena).
      Nobody’s policing anyone. But if we who are casual observers can notice this I think it’s a bit disingenuous to pretend that the titans of marketing involved with both their teams wouldn’t either. Also, this wouldn’t really be an issue of discussion if there wasn’t this curious discourse to excuse and promote everything Taylor does – I find that weird and unnecessary. But also an interesting conversation.

    • Emily says:

      Totally agree with you. No one is entitled to a number one. Sports teams don’t take turns winning the Stanley Cup or the Super Bowl.

    • Tsar says:

      Well said.
      You are a voice of reason.

  20. Square2 says:

    I feel for the fans of current music industry.

    When I was young, supporting a musician/band was buying their cassette/Vinyle/CD and maybe called your local radio station to request a song. The album usually had one version. If the album sold well, there might be an EP with extra songs or different takes on popular singles. If the artist/band toured well, there might be a Live album. Oh, and no social media to argue with fellow fans.

    It’s a simpler life back then.

    • Eurydice says:

      It’s an interesting psychological marketing strategy, isn’t it? It becomes less about the music and more about collecting and the need to be completist. They might as well be selling Legos or Star Wars merchandise.

  21. tealily says:

    I can’t with this woman. Why is she still behaving like a teenager at 34?

    • Tsar says:

      Jesus, that’s a bit harsh. I know she looks a bit rough – but she’s only 22 years old.

  22. Kerry says:

    Not a swiftie so I am objective. Billie started it. Like a skeezy politician Billie attacked Taylor behind the badge of environmentalism. Taylor has responded. Billie is a phony. Dropping profitable variants and then weaponizing environmentalism against your competitor is not authentic. Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and Lilly Allen are authentic. Billie is not authentic, she reads like a greedy chameleon who cartoon-jumped from a puke green grunge persona into a 1950’s pin up for Vogue and and old timey Disney special to grow her audience and her fans -and the media saw right through it. Taylor has responded to women like this before “there’s a special place in hell for women who attack other women.” On the ‘fake’ radar Billie is about a 100. Prediction: Billie has likely attacked others before and will do it again.

  23. Annalise says:

    Taylor is petty and vengeful. Just like her hardcore fans. A celebrity’s fans are a reflection of that celebrity.

  24. Emily says:

    Taylor didn’t release album variants. She released vote notes of how she creates her songs, completely digital.

    If a voice note threatens someone else’s album sales, then they weren’t contenders to begin with.

    Secondly, Billie is such a hypocrite. She released so many versions of her album, paint splattered CDs etc.

    • Jayna says:

      Yeah, this is really a non-story. People are blowing it up into something more.

  25. ML says:

    TS definitely has the reputation of someone who would drop songs at the same time as BE.

    I don’t want BE to have to deal with the mental and emotional issues TS’s fans would spew at her. TS should leave her be and go after her boyfriend’s team’s kicker instead. Getting bent out of shape about a dig at the music industry (no names were mentioned), whereas a guy named Harrison Butker essentially said that women should return to the 1830s and stay at home and be mothers… that seems like much more pointed criticism than BE’s, and that’s what I want TS to pettily publicly respond to.

  26. Lucy2 says:

    All this makes me want to do is go check out Billie’s new album. Her music is much more my speed than TS.

  27. Lau says:

    I live in Paris and when she did all of these dates in the city we were talking with a friend about the fact that a lot of people attending the Paris concerts were people coming from the US. My friend kept saying that it was great that Swift was offering such a great concert experience with 3 hours of music and I agreed but then I saw a video on instagram with Americans saying that they had to travel across the world because they couldn’t afford a ticket in the US. I sure hope she’s offering 3 hours of music if you have to pay either 1500$ or travel all the way across the Atlantic and pay a plane ticket as well. That plus the fact that they buy multiple versions of her work, the cost of being a swiftie must be wild.

  28. Tsar says:

    I really hope Taylor did this deliberately.
    That would be hilarious.

    Billie Eilish poked the bear when she invited notorious misogynist Damon Allbald on stage with her just after he had tried to undermine an accomplished woman’s career successes.

  29. Abbie says:

    I can’t believe anyone actually buys albums these days! That’s the most shocking part. Haven’t bought an album, especially in a physically copy, since the last millennium, literally.