Spotify CEO Says Taylor Swift Would Have Earned $6 Million This Year
Taylor Swift has made her opinion on Spotify well-known -- and now Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is speaking out about the brand, clarifying misconceptions and even revealing that the 'Blank Space' singer was set to earn $6 million -- if she had kept her music on there.
"Taylor Swift is absolutely right: 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," he explained in a lengthy post. "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."
In the post, Ek wanted do debunk several myths about Spotify, one of the biggest being that they don't pay artists for their music. He continued:
"Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists," he revealed. "A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then. And that’s two billion dollars’ worth of listening that would have happened with zero or little compensation to artists and songwriters through piracy or practically equivalent services if there was no Spotify."
And Taylor Swift, he continued, could have made upwards of $6 million if she had kept her music on the site.
"At our current size, payouts for a top artist like Taylor Swift (before she pulled her catalog) are on track to exceed $6 million a year, and that’s only growing – we expect that number to double again in a year."
To put it in perspective, however, TechCrunch notes that '1989' -- which sold over 1.2 million copies in its first week -- made about $12 million in that first week alone.
Ultimately, Ek concludes, Spotify's interests are totally "aligned with yours."
"We’re getting fans to pay for music again. We’re connecting artists to fans they would never have otherwise found, and we’re paying them for every single listen," he stated. "We’re not just streaming, we’re mainstreaming now, and that’s good for music makers and music lovers around the world."
PopCrushers, do you think Taylor Swift made the right decision to pull her music from Spotify?
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