Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has tackled the question of whether his company cannibalises iTunes sales head-on, in a pre-Grammys interview. “There’s not a shred of data to suggest that. In fact, all the information available points to streaming services helping to drive sales,” he says, before criticising artists who have withheld their albums from Spotify.
“You’re talking 10 million active users, 2.5 million subscribers — most of them paying $120 a year, which is double the amount of your average iTunes user. Do you really want to hold back your album from people who are finally paying for music again? If you think that by doing so you’re getting them to buy your album on a CD, or as an album download, again, there’s absolutely no evidence to back that theory up.”
Ek adds that in Sweden, “the vast majority of the artists are getting between 50 and 60 percent of all their income from Spotify”, and updates the figure for how much Spotify has paid to rightsholders – it’s now $200m. Meanwhile, Ek says Spotify is going to do more to break new artists. “Spotify, up until now, hasn’t really done a great job of helping that, but you’re going to see us doing more and more to break acts and try to really promote them as well.”