Daniel Ek Explains How He Convinced Taylor Swift To Return To Spotify

Way back in 2014, Taylor Swift pulled all of her music from Spotify. In a statement at the time, Spotify said, “We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone.” Eventually, it happened. Last year, Taylor Swift’s music returned to Spotify — the same week, it turned out, that Swift’s old nemesis Katy Perry released her Witness album. (This could’ve been coincidental, but it seems likelier that it was Machiavellian.) And now Swift is so closely allied with Spotify that she released a Spotify-exclusive “Delicate” video last week.

This change of affairs is a coup for Spotify, which remains the world’s most popular streaming service. And today, with Spotify making its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, CEO Daniel Ek appeared on CBS This Morning and spoke a bit about his business. During his appearance, the hosts asked him specifically about Swift and her decision to return to Spotify. Here’s what Ek had to say:

I should’ve done a much better job communicating this, so I take full ownership for that… I want to Nashville many, many times to talk to [Swift’s] team, spent more time explaining the model, why streaming mattered. And the great news is I think she saw how streaming was growing. I think she saw the fans were asking for it. So eventually when the new album came out, she came to Stockholm and spent some time there, figuring out a way that made sense for her.

Here’s the video:

I don’t want to spread unfounded rumors here, but it’s possible that Taylor Swift is an entirely self-interested entity, not a tireless champion of musicians’ rights.