While we may not all be a fan a Taylor Swift’s music, when an artists that is pulling in around $12 million a week of her latest record removes her tracks from one of the biggest streaming services in the game, you can’t help but take notice. While Swift is certainly doing just fine without the likes of Spotify, the company has now posted a long response in defense of its service and what it provides for artists and the business in general.
CEO Daniel Ek said Spotify, with more than 12 million paid subscribers at around $120 a piece, has now paid out $2 billion in royalties to the music industry. The service isn’t showing signs of slowing either. Ek points out the first billion dollars was from 2008 to 2013, and the second billion was in the last year alone. It has more paid subscribers than all of its (music-only) competitors combined.
The CEO also said that before she pulled her entire catalogue from the service, Swift was in line for about $6 million in kickback. It seems as though Swift and her handlers decided to pull her records just because they could. Very few artists, if any, rake in the sort of numbers she does so quickly, and because of this Spotify feels Swift’s move won't have an effect on the industry at large. Ek says “she’s the only artist who has sold more than a million copies in an album’s first week since 2002. In the old days, multiple artists sold multiple millions every year. That just doesn’t happen any more; people’s listening habits have changed – and they’re not going to change back.”
Spotify has had its fair share of ups and downs and is more than likely to make it through this one. It is certainly the largest pure-music streaming service around based on these numbers, and rising steadily. It is hard to say whether other artists will follow suit, but as Ek mentioned, there just really isn’t very many of them out there that can afford to do so.