Spotify Director Sean Parker Heard Apple Tried To Prevent Spotify’s US Launch
Spotify director Sean Parker said today at the D10 conference that he had heard that Apple tried to prevent Spotify from launching the US.
When asked the question, at All Things D’s conference D10, he said: “There was some indication that might have been happening.”
Parker went onto to explain his answer by suggesting the industry is very “small” and during the constant negotiations with the majors he would “hear things” about what Apple thought about the service.
He added: “There’s a sense that Apple was threatened by what we were doing.” But it would have been a small part of Apple’s business, he adds. But Parker actually thinks that both services will prosper from the arrival of the music streaming service in America.
He reckons there’s still massive demand from users to buy tracks after they have sampled them on streaming sites – meaning more sales for Apple and other companies.
Both Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and Director Parker were on stage at D10 and gave a candid insight on how they see Spofity in a new digital age.
Parker explained the bar for the industry was set when Napster launched, which Parker co-founded, because it was easy to use and had a great library of content. “But when I saw Spotify, I saw that it met the bar and exceeded it.” he said.
When speaking about the grey area of music piracy, something Napster had major role in, he said: “We [Spotify] like to think that we’re competing with piracy.”
Ek feels the same way and went onto try and prove his point by asserting that the music industry has declined from £45 billion to £15 billion – but stated that music consumption is actually at a all time high.
He said for the industry to get back to where it was they need to address the half a billion people who pirate music as “that’s a huge addressable market”.
He also stated that the “vast majority” of music on iTunes is never downloaded, but over 80% of Spotify’s music is listened too.
Parker added proudly, “For artists, their back catalog is being monetized.”
Spotify currently has 10 million active users, 3 million of which are paid subscribers. When asked about why Apple doesn’t just open their own version of Spotify Ek said, “They probably can”.
He added: “But the value of Spotify is that we have 700 million playlists.” Parker said, “We are able to combine social with music because we have a free tier of service.”
Despite Apples misgivings about Spotify, the music streaming eventually did launch in the US once they had persuaded the major record labels it was where future revenue would come from.