Taylor Swift's Battle Against Spotify Heats Up: Her Label Fires Back
CEO Daniel Ek said the singer could have expected to receive $6 million in revenue had she not pulled her catalogue
Swift put a serious dent in Spotify playlists everywhere last week when she made the decision to pull her catalog from the service.
Swift, 24, said in a TIME cover story that she “didn’t like the way it felt” having her music on the streaming site. “I think there should be an inherent value placed on art,” she told TIME. “I didn’t see that happening, perception-wise, when I put my music on Spotify.”
But Spotify CEO Daniel Ek was not ready to let Swift go. On Tuesday, he released a statement claiming that the “Shake it Off” singer could have gone on to earn $6 million a year had she not pulled her catalog.
However, Scott Borchetta, CEO of Swift’s label Big Machine Records, is crying foul. In a statement to TIME on Wednesday, he revealed that Swift’s music earned about $496,000 from Spotify over the past 12 months. Not a paltry sum, to be sure, but a far cry from Spotify’s claim that Swift earned $2 million in the same period. Swift earns more from Vevo streams than from Spotify, Borchetta told TIME.
Swift shared her views on the changing music industry prior to the release of her latest album, 1989, in a July op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.
“Music is art, and art is important and rare,” she wrote. “Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.”
In his statement, Ek said he agrees that artists should be paid and that Spotify was started “because we love music and piracy was killing it.”
The issue then, it seems, is not if the artist is paid, but how much.