[Update] Spotify has Paid $2B to Artists, Taylor Swift Would Have Made $6M

The music industry was in the spotlight earlier this month when Taylor Swift pulled her hot new album release from Spotify’s digital streaming service. Claims were made from Taylor and her record label that the artists weren’t getting a big enough payout from having their music available on the service, but today Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek has hit back. Mr Ek announced that the company has now paid out over $2 billion in royalties to the music industry – which includes record labels and artists and their encompassing surrounds.

Mr Ek also made mention that the services userbase isn’t slowing down either – making note that the first billion dollars of payments came spanning the years of 2008-2013, whereas the second billion was paid just over the last 12 months. Another incredible figure that Mr Ek noted was that Spotify has more paid subscribers than all of it’s music streaming competitors combined.

“[Taylor Swift] is the only artist who has sold more than a million copies in an album’s first week since 2002. In the old days, multiple artists sold multiple millions every year. That just doesn’t happen any more; people’s listening habits have changed – and they’re not going to change back.”

The CEO also went on to exclaim that because Swift had pulled her entire catalogue from the service, she is set to lose over $6M is profits in the short term from not being on Spotify’s streaming service. At the end of the day, it would seem that Swift and her management pulled her catalogue from Spotify because they’re one of the last remaining artists who wields enough power to afford to manoeuvre such a stunt. In the meantime, I’m sure many of you have other tunes and artists to listen to and enjoy.

Thanks to The Verge for providing us with this information.

Microsoft Rumoured to be Buying the Makers of Minecraft for a Substantial Amount

Reports are swirling that Microsoft is in the final stages of buying Mojang AB; the makers of the extremely popular Minecraft video game. According to the Wall Street Journal, the buyout would value Mojang at over $2 billion US – and the deal could be signed on the dotted line between the two companies as early as this week. The Stockhold-based Mojang Studio reportedly had $100 million in profit last year.

The acquisition would help boost Microsoft’s Game Studio clout – adding another wildly popular franchise under its belt. However the reports are also currently claiming that the deal would still see Minecraft being developed cross-platform – which is good news for everyone who enjoys the game. The move is rather surprising – given the fact that Mojang founder Markkus “Notch” Persson has always championed the indie gaming scene – and has avidly spoken out about taking venture capital. In more recent times, he’s also heavily criticized Microsoft’s Windows 8 for potentially being “very, very bad for indie games.”

Both Mojang and Microsoft have so far declined to comment publicly on the matter.

Thank you Wall Street Journal for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Mojang AB.