Spotify defends itself against Taylor Swift's criticism

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Spotify's chief executive has defended its business model, saying it has paid out $2bn (£1.2bn) to the music industry to date.

Daniel Ek's lengthy blog post follows a high profile move by pop star Taylor Swift to pull her entire back catalogue from the song-streaming service.

She said she did not believe it "fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators" of songs.

But Mr Ek said Spotify was music's biggest driver of growth.

He noted that 12.5 million of its 50 million active members were paying subscribers, and highlighted that a popular alternative, piracy, did not pay artists at all.

"You can't look at Spotify in isolation - 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," he added.

"To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services... and sure enough, if you looked at the top spot on the Pirate Bay last week, there was [Taylor Swift's new album] 1989."

YouTube and Soundcloud do not automatically offer the option to download and listen to music offline, as is the case for the Spotify app's paying subscribers - although there are third-party tools that offer this function.

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