Daniel Ek defends Spotify after Taylor Swift fallout

Spotify Website

The Spotify boss has defended his company after popstar Taylor Swift demanded all her music be removed from the service.

Last week it emerged that world renowned singer/songwriter Taylor Swift was unhappy with the way Spotify compensates all the people who contribute to music creation. The 24-year-old was that aggrieved she decided to have every song she has ever released removed from the streaming service.

Spotify's chief executive Daniel Ek has responded to Swift's claims in a blogpost stating that his company has paid out more than $2 billion to 'labels, publishers and collecting societies' since its founding, and that the Spotify is the biggest driver of growth in the music industry.

Ek also pointed out that 24% of users are paid subscribers and that Spotify pays artists for every song that is listened to, whereas other various online services and piracy do not.

"You can't look at Spotify in isolation - even though Taylor can pull her music off Spotify (where we license and pay for every song we've ever played), her songs are all over services and sites like YouTube and Soundcloud, where people can listen all they want for free.

"To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services... and sure enough, if you looked at the top spot on the Pirate Bay last week, there was 1989 (Taylor Swift's new album)."

Ek adds in his lengthy post that Swift was on course to make $6 million this year form Spotify alone. If that is fair compensation then we're not sure what is!

The Spotify founder also addressed many of the misconceptions that surround music artists and Spotify. Firstly he sought to abolish the idea that Spotify's free service means artists aren't paid; it's surprising that so many people think this as the majority of free services generate money through advertising revenue, Spotify does the same and pays a portion of this out to artists.

Next he addressed the misconception that artists can't make a living from Spotify. Big artists like Swift, as has already been noted, make more than enough from the service, for smaller ones it might be different. Ek says when a track is played half a million times Spotify pay out between $3,000 to $4,000.

He finally addressed the accusation that Spotify is killing music by saying that sales are declining even in places where Spotify is not available.