Spotify boss Daniel Ek has reacted to Taylor Swift’s “diss” of the music streaming site. He is reportedly extremely frustrated with her actions, and the critique she gave of the site. His belief is that at least she was getting paid for her music, and they were trying to fight against piracy.
There is the chance that more people will turn to pirating music, because they are unable to listen to Swift online. However, her most recent album has been the most successful for many artists for a long time. She said that placing her music on Spotify was an experiment that was no longer worth her time or effort.
She blamed poor royalties for the music, but CEO Ek has defended the amount that has been paid out to artists. Since 2008, when the company launched, music labels have gained $2 billion. Had the fans downloaded through pirate websites, that money would not have been gained at all. Spotify is working with the music industry to avoid pirating it. The criticism comes from the site paying less than a cent per song played, which is considered inadequate for the artists.
One thing that many forget is that the amount is paid over and over again. That is even if individuals listen to the same track over and over again. If they bought an album, the artists would gain the royalties once from an individual. There is the chance of making much more money through a site like Spotify, even with the low earnings.
Artists are angry with the low earnings, including Swift. Now Spotify boss Ek has reacted to Swift’s diss of the site, but admitted that he is frustrated with the low earnings for artists. He would like them earning more, and he has a team working with the industry to improve payments. There may be the option for artists to promote to fans directly with the help of the site.
Part of the argument working in Ek’s favor is that Swift allowed her music to be available on YouTube and SoundCloud. Both of these are free for individuals, and SoundCloud has only recently started paying artists for the music. Before this, the company reaped all the profits from individuals listening to tracks. There are also plenty of pirate websites with the albums available, where Swift will see no profit at all.
Spotify continued to defend itself by claiming that it has the subscription option too. Individuals play $120 per year to get full access to the site. This is access to all tracks, without listening to ads. The users also have more capabilities with the mobile app on cell phones, including the ability to listen offline and choose tracks to listen to. About 10 million people listen through a subscription, and 40 million listen for free, according to reports earlier this year.
Scott Borchetta, CEO of Swift’s music label, has defended her actions. He claims the country-turned-pop singer has only received less than $500,000 while her music was on the site. Spotify boss Ek reacted to Swift’s diss by claiming that she could receive $6 billion a year as the audience on the service grows.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Eva Rinaldi