The head of Spotify can’t shake it off.
Taylor Swift dissed the popular music streaming service by yanking her songs from its music library last week, and now CEO Daniel Ek has issued a lengthy response. Here is Ek’s reply to Swift’s criticism that Spotify doesn’t pay artists enough:
Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than $2 billion to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists. A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then.
In reality, Spotify’s payments to artists average less than a penny per played song, USA Today said. But Ek said that with 50 million users around the world (12.5 million of whom are paid subscribers), payouts for a big artist like Swift (before she pulled her music) would have exceeded $6 million a year.
Ek said streaming services like Spotify are musicians’ ally, not their enemy.
Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work. … When I hear stories about artists and songwriters who say they’ve seen little or no money from streaming and are naturally angry and frustrated, I’m really frustrated, too.
Although Ek and other proponents of music streaming services argue that they are music’s best opportunity for revenue growth, Swift sold nearly 1.3 million copies of her new album, “1989,” in just the first week after its release, The New York Times said.
Country artist Jason Aldean pulled his new album, “Old Boots, New Dirt,” from Spotify on Monday.
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