*This was a liveblog I abandoned because it didn’t seem “content rich” enough. I originally planned to mix it with the Sean Parker interview, as he’s an investor in the service, but that proved big enough to stand entirely by itself. *
I have a confession: I’m not a Spotify user. Oh, I have the app on my Mac and iPhone, but I’ve never got into the habit of using it. I still habitually play music from my own collection. I’m so middle-aged. However, I’m also aware that it’s reached almost cult-like status amongst many of my more webby friends, so I was interested in hearing Ek talk more about it..
Spotify arose as a response to the growth of piracy in Sweden – they wanted to make it easier to consume and share music that it was to pirate it. What happens if you have iTunes with ALL the world’s music in it? “We wanted it to work everywhere, like water.” Loïc seems to be unaware that it was available for years in the UK before it headed to the US, which is odd. Cracking the US wasn’t easy, says Ek – it took two years. They set targets for themselves, and proved repeatedly to the record labels that this works. What are people paying for? Portability.
It’s a “lean back” experience. Unlimited skips, unlimited stations. That’s a direct play against things like Pandora, and actually makes it more appealing to me – rather than having to pick and choose songs, I can fire it up and let it run.
The business has £2.5m paying customers – the majority paying €10 per month
So, are they going to sell? Ek says not. They just want to build a great company – everything else is secondary. The objective is not to sell.
Music fans might also enjoy the video from the party for Le Web attendees, featuring the Ting Tings…