Has Taylor Swift got it wrong? For Maroon 5 and Paul McCartney, Spotify revenues overtake iTunes in Europe


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Taylor Swift may have made a powerful statement after pulling her back catalogue from Spotify this week, but new figures suggest she could be fighting a losing battle.

Music services company Kobalt has revealed that revenues from Spotify have surpassed earnings from iTunes in Europe for its songwriters.

Royalties from the streaming platform were 13 per cent higher than the total made from the download store in the first quarter of the year - the first time Spotify has surpassed iTunes for Kobalt.

The company represents over 6000 artists including Bob Dylan, Pitbull, Ellie Goulding, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Thom Yorke and the Miles Davis catalogue.


It follows reports last month that sales through Apple’s once revolutionary download store have fallen by up to 14 per cent so far this year. Kobalt’s founder and chief executive Willard Ahdritz said the transition represents “an important new milestone in streaming.”

Spotify has faced criticism from high profile artists including Thom Yorke and Taylor Swift for the amount it pays artists, which works out to between  $0.006 and $0.0084 per play. But Spotify says it has paid out over $1bn to artists, with $500m of that last year alone.

Kobalt, founded in 2000, provides provides a platform that lets artists collect and keep track of royalty revenues directly. The UK registered but New York-based company raised $140 million in June to expand.