Spotify CEO Says Taylor Swift Is Wrong By $2 Billion Paid To Artists

Spotify CEO vs Taylor Swift

Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek is not happy that Taylor Swift claimed his music streaming service was not properly paying artists. Ek published a blog post yesterday on the Spotify website with arguments that Spotify protects singers against piracy. The CEO also said that Spotify has paid $2 billion to the music industry, and that Taylor is going to miss out on $6 million.

The CEO addressed three specific myths about Spotify in his blog post. First, Daniel said that the ads run on Spotify pay performers. They receive similar payments to what they would receive for regular radio airplay, his second point. Third, Daniel referred to singers such as Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey who used Spotify to promote album sales. The CEO’s main point is that Spotify and similar services prevent piracy.

“Quincy Jones posted on Facebook that ‘Spotify is not the enemy; piracy is the enemy’. You know why? Two numbers: Zero and Two Billion. Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero.”

However, Swift’s comments were not just about numbers. The CEO took her comments personally.

“So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time.

“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. The music industry is changing – and we’re proud of our part in that change – but lots of problems that have plagued the industry since its inception continue to exist.”

USA Today reports that sales numbers may speak against Ek’s claims. Spotify pays artists between $0.006 and $0.0084 per stream. Taylor’s album sells for $13.99 at Target for unlimited plays. 1989 sold 1.2 million copies in stores and online during the its first week. Those figures still beat the $6 million the CEO claims Swift would have received from Spotify.

Daniel also has taken to Twitter with statistics from analyst and researcher Rich Greenfield to counter Swift’s arguments about free music.

Taylor removed her music from Spotify the same week that her latest album, 1989, was released. As reported by the Inquisitr, Swift also reached out in the Washington Post with an opinion article citing her reasons behind the separation from Spotify.

[Photo Sources: Social Media Observatory and Huffington Post]