Quoted: Spotify CEO on lessons learned from Taylor Swift

“The public probably learned there’s something called Spotify, and that it’s not Pandora.”

Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, on what the public learned from Taylor Swift’s decision to pull her music from the streaming service. Ek also tells Billboard Magazine that his company learned that it needs to do a better job of “explaining to artists how streaming benefits them. The point that’s been lost is that Spotify’s the fastest-growing revenue source the industry has.”

Last month, pop star Swift brought some unwanted attention to the streaming-music model by pulling her music from Spotify. She said she was taking a stand against free streaming, which she says exploits artists. Ek responded that Spotify has paid out billions of dollars to artists; that artists get royalties even when their music is streamed for free; and that many users of Spotify’s free service eventually become paying subscribers.

Another point Ek uses in his defense of the streaming model: It’s better than piracy.

“I think people discount piracy,” he told Billboard. “We’ve grown accustomed to it, so [we’re] not really sure what we can do about it. But there’s a billion people doing it. If they contribute to a legal service of any kind, that’s a huge win.”


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