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Spotify Racks up 12.5m Subscribers, 50m Users

Tim Maytom

taylor swiftMusic streaming service Spotify now boasts 12.5m paying subscribers, and 50m users overall, according to new figures revealed by CEO Daniel Ek.

The figures come as part of a response by Ek to pop superstar Taylor Swift removing her music from the service which detailed the ways in which Spotify supports musicians and the music industry in general.

"Spotify has paid more than $2bn (£1.25bn) to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists," said Ek in the blog post. "A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then. And that's two billion dollars' worth of listening that would have happened with zero or little compensation to artists and songwriters through piracy or practically equivalent services if there way no Spotify."

Ek also expressed sympathy with artists and songwriters, and frustration at hearing stories of music royalties failing to reach those they were owed to, stating that payment speed and transparency needed to be improved by both Spotify and other elements within the music industry.

"You can't look at Spotify in isolation," said Ek. "Even though Taylor can pull her music off Spotify (where we license and pay for every song we’ve ever played), her songs are all over services and sites like YouTube and Soundcloud, where people can listen all they want for free. To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services like Grooveshark. And sure enough, if you looked at the top spot on The Pirate Bay last week, there was 1989."

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