Taylor Swift pulling her music from Spotify was pointless, says CEO Daniel Ek

Daniel Ek struggles to see the benefit as Swift's music is on YouTube

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The Independent Culture

Spotify's CEO has hit out at Taylor Swift for pulling her back catalogue from the streaming service last year.

The "Blank Space" singer removed her songs because she did not want to "contribute her life's work to an experiment that does not fairly compensate the writers, producers, artist and creators".

But according to boss Daniel Ek, Swift's fans have since been listening to her music on YouTube, making the whole idea pointless.

"Her YouTube streams went through the roof," Ek told Billboard. "What that tells me is the audience that was listening to Taylor Swift on Spotify went on YouTube to do it instead. Then you may ask, 'Well, what was the benefit of it?'"

Ek added that he was "a little surprised" by the extensive media coverage of Swift's controversial decision but knew he was "dealing with America's darling".


Spotify may have more than 10 million paying subscribers around the world but Swift's departure would have made quite the dent, as over 25 per cent had streamed at least one of her songs at the time.

The 25-year-old believes that "valuable things should be paid for", arguing last year that "music should not be free" and artists should not "underestimate themselves or undervalue their art".

"I felt like I was saying to my fans, 'If you create music someday, if you create a painting someday, someone can just walk into a museum, take it off the wall, rip off a corner off it and it's theirs now and they don't have to pay for it," she said.

"I didn't like the perception that it was putting forth and so I decided to change the way I was doing things."

Spotify begged Swift to return to the service with a "we love you" playlist and insisted that nearly 70 per cent of its revenue goes back to the music community.

Swift's popular repertoire can be found on Jay Z's artist-owned Tidal service as well as other subscription services Beats Music, Google Play Music and Rhapsody.

Earlier this month, Edgar Berger, Sony Music CEO said that streaming is the "final destination" for the music industry.