Spotify – ‘we’re not the enemy’

Spotify-carouselSpotify was launched to stop piracy from killing music and is not the enemy of artists, the service’s chief executive has said.

Daniel Ek made the comments in a blog post in response to Taylor Swift’s decision to remove her music from the service and the subsequent ongoing debate surrounding the merits of Spotify.

As part of his response, Daniel announced that Spotify now has 50 million active users, with 12.5 million of them paying for a monthly subscription. He also said the service has distributed $2bn (£1.2bn) to artists.

In a blog post, the service’s CEO said: ‘Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists. A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then.

‘And that’s two billion dollars’ worth of listening that would have happened with zero or little compensation to artists and songwriters through piracy or practically equivalent services if there was no Spotify – we’re working day and night to recover money for artists and the music business that piracy was stealing away.’

Taylor Swift stated that she had withdrawn her music from the service as she does not believe the service fairly compensates songwriters and composers for the use of their music.

However, in his statement, Daniel said that the music streaming and subscription service is working as hard as possible to ensure music fans pay to listen to music, citing the $2bn royalties figure. He implied that Spotify is paying out royalties and the fault may elsewhere in the financial eco-system.

‘If that money is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that’s a big problem,’ he explained.

Visit the Spotify blog to read the full update from the service’s CEO.