Last week, Taylor Swift made a big move by pulling all of her albums off of Spotify. The streaming company’s CEO Daniel Ek published a blog post yesterday claiming that Swift was expected to receive $6 million in payouts from the service over the next year based on their current growth. Swift’s label has disputed that claim — Scott Borchetta, CEO of Swift’s label Big Machine, told Time today that Swift had been paid less than $500,000 in the past 12 months for domestic streaming of her songs. Globally, Spotify claims that Swift has earned $2 million over the same time period.
“The facts show that the music industry was much better off before Spotify hit these shores,” Borchetta told Time. “Don’t forget this is for the most successful artist in music today. What about the rest of the artists out there struggling to make a career? Over the last year, what Spotify has paid is the equivalent of less than 50,000 albums sold.”
Here’s Spotify’s side of things, per global head of communications and public policy Jonathan Price: “Our users, both free and paid, have grown by more than 50 percent in the last year, which means that the run rate for artists of every level of popularity keeps climbing. And Taylor just put out a great record, so her popularity has grown too. We paid Taylor’s label and publisher roughly half a million dollars in the month before she took her catalog down — without even having 1989 on our service — and that was only going to go up.”
This whole situation is getting messy. In related news, YouTube launched their streaming music service today, and Swift’s albums are not available on that either.