One week after Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify, the company’s founder, Dan Ek, has fired back in an 1,800-word blog post, in which he blamed record companies for the lack of royalties artists are receiving.
Last week, Swift made news after she removed herself from the website’s streaming service, calling Spotify “a bit like a grand experiment.”
The “Shake it off” singer felt she wasn’t receiving a sufficient return from the company and opted out, leaving Ek on the defensive.
Swift, who has just released a new album, requested her music be removed from Spotify’s streaming service, even though it was set to make her nearly $6 million this year alone.
Ek is arguing that his company’s 50 million users, which include 12.5 million paid subscribers, have given $2 billion in royalties to the music industry. “We’re getting fans to pay for music again,” he said.
His blog post argues that piracy doesn’t make any money for artists or record companies. Ek explained how his service has blended the best of both worlds for artists who stand to make no money if users decide to share music free through peer to peer portals.
The founder has placed blame on record labels and others who own the music. “If that money is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that’s a big problem,” he wrote.
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Talking Heads’ David Byrne, and Cracker’s David Lowery are some of the artists who have criticized Spotify in the past for paying minuscule per-stream royalties to artists.
Swift is arguably the biggest artist whose music has become absent from Spotify, due to her loyal fan following.
The Spotify founder went on to defend his streaming service and asked for artists to remain patient in order for all parties to benefit.
“Our interests are totally aligned with yours,” Ek added. “The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you.”