Taylor Swift rebuts Spotify's rebuttal that it pays stars adequately, pay cheque mystery deepens

Taylor Swift performs during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sept 19, 2014. The pop star's record label said it had been paid only US$496,044 (S$641,265) in the past year for United States streams of her songs, rebutting a
Taylor Swift performs during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sept 19, 2014. The pop star's record label said it had been paid only US$496,044 (S$641,265) in the past year for United States streams of her songs, rebutting a statement made by Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek that payouts for a top star like Swift were "on track" to exceed US$6 million a year,. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

New York - Pop star Taylor Swift's record label has been paid US$496,044 (S$641,265) in the past year for United States streams of her songs, Big Machine told Time magazine on Wednesday.

The label's chief executive Scott Borchetta released the figure to rebut Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek's statement that the streaming outlet paid US$2 billion to the industry and that payouts for a top star like Swift were "on track" to exceed US$6 million a year, with the growth of its subscriber base.

Borchetta said the actual amount the independent label had received for US streams of Swift's music was smaller than the amount Spotify had suggested, and only a portion of that sum was paid by the music portal, the magazine reported.

He said the label had made more from putting Swift's videos on video site Vevo than from placing her music on Spotify.

However, a spokesman for Spotify told a different story.

He told Time the total payout for global streams of Swift's songs in the past year was US$2 million. He said Spotify had paid Taylor's label and publisher roughly US$500,000 in the month before she pulled her catalogue from the outlet.