Spotify Swipes Back at Taylor Swift

Founder defends business model, says Swift was on track to earn $6M
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2014 7:02 PM CST
Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek.   (AP Photo/TT/Janerik Henriksson)
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(Newser) – Spotify's founder wrote a lengthy defense of his business model today in the wake of Taylor Swift's decision to pull her music from the streaming site, reports Daniel Ek insists that he's on the side of musicians, pointing out that Spotify has paid out $2 billion in royalties so far. Addressing criticism that Spotify pays artists only a fraction of a cent per stream, Ek says that Swift was on track to pull in $6 million this year. He expects that number to double in a year for artists of her caliber as the site continues to sign up more listeners, especially paid subscribers.

"All the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time," writes Ek. "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." As the debate plays out, a blogger at Quartz suggests that Swift is nowhere near Spotify's biggest problem. Instead, "With Google/YouTube and Apple ... taking streaming music very seriously, Spotify is facing extremely deep-pocketed competitors, with millions of existing users of adjacent services who might be easily converted into streaming music customers," writes John McDuling. Meaning it might become far more difficult soon for Spotify to keep up its growth.

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