5 Comments

Summary:

It took Spotify seemingly forever to launch in the U.S. after making its debut in Europe, and while the licensing discussions were complicated, Apple played a role in holding up Spotify’s U.S. entrance, according to company backer Sean Parker.

Walt Mossberg Daniel Ek Sean Parker Spotify D10
photo: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital
Walt Mossberg Daniel Ek Sean Parker Spotify D10

(L to R) Walt Mossberg, Daniel Ek, Sean Parker

It took Spotify two and a half years to enter the U.S. market amid complicated licensing discussions with record labels, and Apple played a role in trying to keep the company out of the country, Spotify director Sean Parker said Wednesday.

“There were some indications that that happened,” Parker said, rescuing Spotify CEO Daniel Ek from having to answer a question about Apple’s role in Spotify’s long march to the U.S. market at the D: All Things Digital conference. “You hear things, people send you e-mails… there is definitely a sense in which Apple was threatened by what we were doing.”

This isn’t an entirely new notion: my former colleague Greg Sandoval at CNET reported in 2010 that Apple was talking smack about Spotify’s business model in discussions with record companies, implying that it could hurt sales of downloaded music. But Parker’s acknowledgment is still quite interesting when considering whether or not Apple ever plans to introduce a subscription service for music, something the company has long resisted but has long been rumored to be considering.

Back in 2011, when Spotify launched in the U.S., Ek told Om that “people tend to overdramatize this tension with Apple.”

Regardless of Apple’s role in Spotify’s negotiations with record labels, Parker said that Spotify has broken through where others have failed because of a focus on the product. “You have to lead with the product, and that informs your licensing,” he said, whereas other services cut the licensing deals first and then got around to building a product.

Image credit Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

  1. Spotify is so much better than that virus called iTunes

    Share
  2. So, Parker says “There were some indications that that happened,” and you report PARKER: APPLE TRIED TO KEEP SPOTIFY OUT OF THE U.S.?

    Share
  3. Bullshit. He’s just trying to blame Spotify’s almost-failure in the US on Apple. The truth is that they brought a product that was way too little and way too late. Other products provide a superior experience. And Apple hasn’t gotten in their way at all.. (Rdio, MOG, Slacker, etc…)

    Share
  4. Whats apple’s problem? They’re like an insecure little kid, dont they have enough if the overall market share and make enough money to burn, instead of always trying to sabotage any hint of a competitor Christ they should spend as much time focusing on there products. Then

    Share
  5. I am not an apple user, I think they are way overpriced but their services are pretty good, can’t deny that, however I prefer using spotify for the same reason I prefer using duckduckgo instead of google :D and generally i use it together with another soft, it makes using their files much easier, especially when there is no internet: http://audials.com/en/how_to_rip_record_internet_radios/spotify.html.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post