Round 1: Taylor Swift’s label Big Machine pulled her catalog from Spotify on Nov. 3. “I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment I don’t feel fairly compensates [creators],” the singer explained.
Round 2: The streaming service didn’t duck the defection. “We love Taylor Swift,” the company wrote in a blog post, reminding readers it pays out “nearly 70 percent” of its revenue to rights holder.
Round 3: U2‘s Bono defended Spotify at a Nov. 6 tech conference, but said transparency is a problem. If artists can monitor their activity and “get paid [by] direct debit,” the music business can thrive.
Round 4: “If a fan purchased the record, and their friends go, ‘Why did you pay? It’s free on Spotify,’ we’re being completely disrespectful to that superfan,” said Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta on Nov. 7.
Round 5: In an 1,800-word blog post published Nov. 11, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek argued piracy is the real threat to artists. He believes the “freemium” model works, and notes a 25 percent conversion rate.
Round 6: Countering claims by Ek that domestic streaming of Swift’s catalog earned $2 million in 12 months, Borchetta said in a Nov.12 interview with Time that the number was $496,044.