Spotify chief Daniel Ek has responded to Taylor Swift’s pulling her music from the streaming service.
In a lengthy blog post on the Spotify website, Ek reacts to the singer’s comments about compensation provided for artists and her accusation that Spotify is “an experiment,” saying that Swift would have made $6 million this year had she stayed on Spotify, which ultimately “works for artists in a way the music industry never has before.”
“Taylor Swift is absolutely right,” says Ek. “Music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. 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.”
The post goes on to defend Spotify’s business model and debunks the myths that the service doesn’t pay artists and drives down sales. Ek also points to instances in which artists like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey promoted their releases on Spotify, and called attention to the changing listening habits, regardless of the service.
The streaming website recently revealed that it paid artists less than one cent per play, something Swift blamed for the original sales estimates for new album, “1989.”
“When I saw (the) number that was lower than what we’ve done before as a prediction, I didn’t really know what to expect anymore,” she said.
The album went on to sell 1.2 million copies in its first week, but initial estimates foretold only 700,000 units sold, which propelled Swift’s decision.
Ek’s defense: “People’s listening habits have changed – and they’re not going to change back. 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.”
The entire statement can be read on Spotify.com.