The feud between Spotify and Taylor Swift has escalated slightly, due to a disagreement over what the artist was actually paid. The streaming service has come out with expected earnings for a high profile artist such as Swift, but Big Machine, the label managing Swift's streaming deal, has its own numbers -- and there's a big discrepancy.
It was always expected that Spotify would defend itself after high-profile artist Taylor Swift pulled her music from the platform, citing the dismal pay artists receive. And the streaming service did just that. It agreed with Swift's stance on music in general - music is an art form, and artists should be paid - but disagreed that Spotify is the problem.
As part of its defence, however, it was claimed that an artist of Swift's exposure could expect to earn over $US6 million per year.
At our current size, payouts for a top artist like Taylor Swift (before she pulled her catalog) are on track to exceed $US6 million a year, and that’s only growing – we expect that number to double again in a year. Any way you cut it, one thing is clear – we’re paying an enormous amount of money to labels and publishers for distribution to artists and songwriters, and significantly more than any other streaming service.
Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine, begged to differ. He says Swift wasn't even paid $US500,000. To put that in perspective, he pointed out that the amount equates to less than 50,000 albums sold, for one of the best-selling artists today.
It's always hard to argue when you can't agree on the facts. But seeing as one cold hard fact is that Taylor Swift definitely did leave Spotify, and grumbles from artists over the platform aren't exactly uncommon, I'm a little inclined to believe the singer.