Belfast Telegraph

Spotify hits back at Taylor Swift

Spotify has hit back at Taylor Swift's decision to remove her music from the site, claiming fans will just listen to her music for free elsewhere.

The streaming service removed all the 1989 star's music from their site last week at her request. But now Daniel Ek, CEO and founder of Spotify has published a blog post hinting that Taylor had only pulled her music to boost the sales of her new album.

Daniel wrote: "She sold more than 1.2 million copies of 1989 in the US in its first week, and that's awesome. We hope she sells a lot more because she's an exceptional artist producing great music.

"But 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."

He went on to hint that Taylor's decision showed double standards as her music is still available for free online on other sites.

Daniel blogged: "You can't look at Spotify in isolation, even though Taylor can pull her music off Spotify (where we license and pay for every song we've ever played), her songs are all over services and sites like YouTube and Soundcloud, where people can listen all they want for free.

"To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services like Grooveshark. And sure enough, if you looked at the top spot on The Pirate Bay last week, there was 1989..."

The Spotify founder insisted his company is on the side of the musicians, not against them.

He wrote: "Taylor Swift is absolutely right: music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time.

"Here's the thing I really want artists to understand: Our interests are totally aligned with yours. Even if you don't believe that's our goal, look at our business.

"We're getting fans to pay for music again. We're connecting artists to fans they would never have otherwise found, and we're paying them for every single listen. We're not just streaming, we're mainstreaming now, and that's good for music makers and music lovers around the world."

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