Taylor Swift’s latest high-profile breakup was a change from the usual, being a global music streaming service rather than a tousle-haired pop star. Two weeks ago she pulled her music from Spotify, inspiring industry pundits to debate the sustainability of a platform that can’t hold onto its market’s biggest star of the moment and Spotify to make a very public plea for her to return.
The stated cause of the split was money, and specifically the relatively tiny amount of royalties that artists receive from Spotify plays versus other forms of media, a subject that’s irked other major pop stars like Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. In order to get some perspective on the situation, Time recently tabulated a list of the most-played artists on the service and did the math based off Spotify’s stated pay-out rates to estimate what sort of sums are in the balance. While it seems like Swift may be turning down more money per month than most people make in a lifetime, her people say she’s actually been paid considerably less.
Check out T-Swift’s numbers (and the rest of the top 20 most-played artists on Spotify) here.