As noted by TechCrunch, the oh-so vocal Napster founder Sean Parker had a few things to say about Apple today while on stage at AllThingsD’s D10 Conference. In an interview with Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek, Parker quickly answered a question that made Ek hesitant. He said there was “some indication” (emails from other people in the industry) that Apple tried to block Spotify from entering the United States, and he noted “Apple was threatened by what [Spotify] was doing.” In October 2010, we heard similar rumblings that Apple attempted to sway execs in the U.S. music industry from signing with Spotify.
As many likely know, it took Spotify a long time to land in the U.S. Founded in Sweden, Spotify has been available in Europe since 2008, but it did not come to the U.S. until mid-summer of 2011. The stateside launch was highly-anticipated and actually boosted Spotify’s userbase astronomically, along with the help of a Facebook partnership.
I believe Parker implied that Apple felt threatened by Spotify’s technology, especially with its huge traction in Europe, and it did not want the company to land in the U.S. and potentially take from iTunes sales. Before Spotify, the only company close to competing with iTunes was Rdio— which still was not as good.
Speaking more to Apple, Ek said: “It’s not about competing with iTunes, it’s about replacing the behavior that exists with piracy services.” But really, isn’t Spotify just competing to stop people from buying iTunes songs and start using Spotify instead?
If you are like me, you have ditched iTunes completely for Spotify. Its vast catalog of songs coupled with its mobile app for just $10 per month are so much cheaper and easier than iTunes. Has anyone else taken the same route?