Taylor Swift might be right about her music but she sure doesn't know what goes on at Spotify.
At least that's what CEO Daniel Ek is insinuating in a new blog after the "1989" hitmaker pulled her latest album from the free streaming website claiming it did not pay enough royalty to artists.
Ek starts off saying "all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists" upsets him "big time" because the talks are filled with myths that people believe are true.
In his attempt to bust those myths, Ek explains that there is a larger problem at hand – piracy.
"Two numbers: Zero and Two Billion. Piracy doesn't pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists."
Ek goes on to explain how Spotify has paid a billion dollars to artists since the time they started in 2008 to 2013 and another billion in the past one year!
He added that if the royalty money "is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that's a big problem" and Spotify will do "anything" to resolve that and work toward creating a better environment for both artists and fans.
Taylor Swift told Yahoo in an interview last week that posting her music on Spotify felt like a grand experiment that didn't feel right to her.
"...I'm not willing to contribute my life's work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music. And I just don't agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free," she said.
From a more business point of view, Swift's label CEO Scott Borchetta said in an interview on Nikki Sixx's show:
"We never wanted to embarrass a fan. If this fan went and purchased the record, CD, iTunes, wherever, and then their friends go, 'Why did you pay for it? It's free on Spotify.' We're being completely disrespectful to that superfan who wants to invest."
Borchetta added that many other artists and producers were with them on the Spotify issue.
"It's already happening. I've had calls from so many other managers and artists. There's a big fist in the air about this. Spotify is a really good service. They just need to be a better partner, and there is a lot of support for this," he said.
But this is what Ek wants everybody to understand:
"Our interests are totally aligned with yours. Even if you don't believe that's our goal, look at our business. Our whole business is to maximize the value of your music. We don't use music to drive sales of hardware or software. We use music to get people to pay for music. The more we grow, the more we'll pay you. We're going to be transparent about it all the way through. And we have a big team of your fellow artists here because if you think we haven't done well enough, we want to know, and we want to do better. None of that is ever going to change."