Spotify founder responds to Thom Yorke’s criticism

Spotify-carouselSpotify was bound to cause controversy as the service is part of the ‘biggest shift’ in the history of recorded music, founder Daniel Ek has said.

The comments came as part of an interview with Billboard magazine where Daniel defended the streaming business from criticism from the likes of Thom Yorke calling the service bad for new music.

Spotify’s founder told Billboard: ‘[Thom Yorke] looks at this and says over a million streams gives me a few thousand dollars, and he says if I had a million downloads [which pay higher royalty rates], that would mean $1 million – so Spotify is not good.

‘But the difference is, he would not have had a million downloads because they are not comparable. In fact, with 24m users – and Apple has 500m users – we already have billions of streams today.’

He added: ‘In my home country, Sweden, Spotify is 70 percent of not just digital music revenue but all music revenue, including physical [album sales]. That’s what happens when you get to scale. One-third of the population uses Spotify – but people still use iTunes, too. This isn’t about which one you are supporting. An artist today should do everything [because] different consumers want different things.’

Daniel also shrugged off any worries about the streaming market becoming overcrowded, especially with the recent addition of Beats Music.

‘My way of looking at it is, if it gets people to understand the value of streaming, it is ultimately good,’ he explained.

Last year Thom Yorke and his Atoms for Peace band mate Nigel Godrich criticised Spotify, calling it ‘the last desperate fart of a dying corpse’.

Spotify recently launched a new artist website providing detailed financial information on how the service calculates royalties.