Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has issued a response to allegations the streaming service does not pay enough to musicians, saying they have paid more than $2 billion to labels and publishers, BBC reports.
The defense comes after pop star Taylor Swift pulled out her entire music catalog from the service a week after her most recent album "1989" was released. Swift dismissed the service as a "grand experiment" in an interview with Yahoo Music on November 6.
Swift's label also explained why they departed from the service, saying Spotify should improve the way they compensate artists.
Ek responded to the controversy by posting a statement on the service's blog, saying what they do is good for the music industry, even if artists don't believe it to be true.
"All the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. ... We're working day and night to recover money for artists and the music business that piracy was stealing away," Ek wrote.
He also mentioned how it frustrates him to hear artists and labels saying they get meager amounts from streaming services because they distribute revenue fairly. He then encouraged transparency in the music industry.
"We will do anything we can to work with the industry to increase transparency, improve speed of payments and give artists the opportunity to promote themselves and connect with fans - that's our responsibility as a leader in this industry; and it's the right thing to do," he explained.
Ek's claims are supported by a report from Kobalt, a company that collects royalties for musicians, saying revenues from Spotify were 13% higher than Apple's iTunes' in Europe.
"Spotify overtaking iTunes in Europe is an important new milestone in streaming," Kobalt CEO Willart Ahdritz told TechCrunch.
Next to YouTube, Spotify is the largest music streaming service in the world and it has the largest number of paying subscribers at 12.5 million. Its top competitor Deezer has 5 million.
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