Spotify CEO Daniel Ek took the stage at Spotify’s first-ever press conference to expand the music streaming service’s Facebook integration to a wider world of social networks and devices, arguing that sharing is the only thing that can save the music industry and stop piracy.
Positioning it as the “next big step” for music, Spotify is opening up its platform to include apps from other companies, which will provide music reviews and news from the likes of Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, as well as internet radio from Last.fm.
Rolling Stone founder and publisher Jann Wenner went onstage next to herald the pop culture magazine’s integration into Spotify. Essentially, Rolling Stone’s app within Spotify will help provide recommendations as well as playlists.
(Rolling Stone and Pitchfork already have set up playlists, but it’s nothing more than what users can currently do themselves. Still, it was not immediately clear how this official Rolling Stone app would be more robust than what it currently offers.)
Earlier, Ek noted all the requests for features that Spotify gets, such as “DJ mode” for playing songs, lyrics to what’s being listened to, and accessing concert tickets and related info. Those features will now be supplied by app partners Last.fm, Tunewiki and Songkick, respectively.
One of the most polarizing things about Spotify’s integration with Facebook is the automatic sharing of what’s being listened to at a given moment. Users will now be able to segment out their “real” friends, whose musical tastes correspond more closely.
All the apps will be available to users of the basic, free Spotify version as well the paid subscribers.
So what’s the value to app developers and partners who appear on Spotify? Right now, it’s the promotional aspect of being able to reach Spotify’s 10 million active users.
“These are early days and we’re still trying to figure this out,” Ek said.
“Right now, there is no monetization model for the apps on Spotify’s platform [in terms of revenue sharing]. However, they can attract users, who want to buy concert tickets, as in the case of Songkick.”
Original post: After 20 minutes of serving truffled quail eggs, mini bagels with smoked salmon and other assorted amuse bouches, Ek took the stage at Spotify’s much-hyped New York press conference with a history of the CD in 1981. “Do you know what artist had the first CD? It was Abba, which like me, is from Sweden.”
He then went through Napster and iTunes. “Only 500 million are listening online. You need a better product than piracy. Fast and easy to share. it’s all about access. That’s why the CD is so ubiquitous: it works everywhere. Secondly, we want to ensure that artists get paid and continue to make great music.”
“We’re adding 20,000 new tracks a day and currently have 15 million songs — literally a lifetime worth of music,” Ek said. “We’ve become the second biggest revenue source for European record labels and have paid $150 million so far. Sweden was the land of music piracy. 33 percent of the Swedish population listens to Spotify — since that time, piracy has declined 25 percent.”
Since launching in the U.S. this fall, the company has 10 million active users, with 2.5 million paying subscribers. There have been 7 million users added since September, when it began linking up with Facebook as an app on the social network.