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Spotify CEO Defends Company After Taylor Swift Pulls Albums

A week after Taylor Swift pulled all her music from Spotify, Daniel Ek, the company's CEO, is defending its business model. "Taylor Swift is absolutely right: music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it," he wrote Tuesday in a blog post. Swift, whose album "1989" went platinum in its first week with 1.287 million copies sold, had been critical of streaming services like Spotify even before she pulled her albums, writing in the Wall Street Journal, "Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently." Other artists including Radiohead's Thom Yorke have leveled similar criticisms at Spotify. On Monday, country music star Jason Aldean pulled his latest album "Old Boots, New Dirt" off the service. Ek defended his business model, saying that Spotify had paid $2 billion to the music industry, while, "Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny — nothing, zilch, zero." He wrote that Spotify has 12.5 million subscribers who pay $120 a year — which he said is three times what the average music consumer paid in the past — and that artists like Taylor Swift stood to make more than $6 million a year from the service.

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— Keith Wagstaff