Spotify Co-Founder: Apple Tried to block our US entryD10 is this week, which means we're getting insightful interviews with some of tech's hottest talents. Today we heard from Spotify's Daniel Ek, the co-founder of the company.
He let some interesting details slip about his company in his interview with Walt Mossberg, for example that they have around 10 million users worldwide and that 3 million of those pay, or that Spotify has a library of 18 million songs and are adding 10,000 to 20,000 new songs every day. But perhaps the most interesting was when he was asked about his company's relationship with Apple.
Spotify Founders Daniel Ek & Martin Lorentzon
Mossberg finished up his interview by asking the two Spotify co-founders about a rumor he heard: that Apple tried to block Spotify's entry into the US. One co-founder smartly kept his mouth shut, but Ek couldn't help himself. He started out by explaining that the approval process to operate in the US should have taken 12 weeks, but took 2 and a half years instead.
"There was some indication that [the act of blocking] might have been happening, and you know -- it's actually a very small industry in a lot of ways. Certainly more than 10 to 12 years ago. It's a handful of guys really running the record business. They tend to talk amongst each other about this stuff, and one of our core competencies is our negotiations and legal framework. We wanted a never-ending negotiation -- we're always in negotiation. In that process, you hear things, and people send you emails. There's definitely a sense in which Apple was threatened by what we were doing. But realistically, what we're doing is such a small part of their business, it wouldn't be hugely significant to its bottom line."Which, hidden among its careful couching, indicts Apple for interfering with their company. But why is Apple feeling threatened by Spotify? Ek earlier stated:
"If you look at iTunes, the vast majority of songs haven't been purchased by anyone -- it's driven by hits. We see 80 percent of our whole catalog listened to."And Parker continued, explaining:
"The playlist is now the CD. It used to be a few songs were wanted by the consumer, and the rest of it was garbage. It's the new mixtape, but accelerated on a massive scale."