Quoted: Sean Parker on Spotify vs. iTunes

“If Spotify continues growing at its current rate in terms of subscribers and users, we will overtake iTunes in terms of the amount of revenue we contribute to the music labels in under two years.”

Sean Parker, Spotify investor, speaking on stage at the South by Southwest tech/music conference. He also criticized Apple‘s iTunes as slow, according to the Telegraph. The Los Angeles Times reports that Parker — who co-founded Napster and also helped get Facebook off the ground, said that despite “blood in the water” between record labels and artists over the streaming-music model, Spotify will rise to one of the biggest sources of income for labels. Spotify, the U.K.-based provider of streaming online music, has about 3 million subscribers, according to the LAT; the Guardian earlier this month said the service has about 10 million users. An Apple spokeswoman said that as of July 2011, iTunes had more than 225 million active user accounts worldwide — accounts used for purchases of music, apps, books and more.


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  • conny gunnr

    well, Spotify is actually a Swedish company founded by Swedes but their international launch was from rhe uk

    Mr Conny Gunnt A swede

  • John L

    Subscribing to Spotify for the next two years means committing to spending more than I’ve ever spent on iTunes. I don’t think I’ll be doing that. BTW, once you start, you can’t stop, or you lose all the music you get through Spotify – this is the problem with subscription vs. purchase.

  • Bryan

    I need another way to interface with the vast, numbing media glut which comprises “art” in the 21st century like I need to listen to another political debate.  

    Can anyone tell me the point of yet another distribution channel for a crap product which is to music what KFC’s latest effort to corner the target market of starving, mentally ill, homeless people residing in their dumpsters is to cuisine?

    Money does indeed change everything.  Into crap.  

    We’re obsessed with the plate because we dare not confront what it is we’re eating.

  • sd

    @Bryan, America is obsessed with the notion of being the “next one to make it big”. It’s what fuels venture capital, reality shows (“American Idol”, “America’s Top Model”), and Republican lawmaking (“You really don’t want to punish these rich folks with taxation — you might be rich someday yourself”.)

    In that light, there’s more than enough money thrown around to be sure one is in on The Next Big Thing. And, unfortunately, there’s just enough success out there (Facebook vs. MySpace, Excel vs 1-2-3, Kelly Clarkson vs. whoever she beat that year on AI) to keep the dream alive.

  • sd

    @Bryan, America *runs* on the premise of being The Next Big Thing. It’s what drives venture capital (Facebook vs. MySpace), reality TV (American Idol, America’s Next Top Model, The Apprentice, and the “stars” they have manufactured), Hollywood and the music industry, and even Republican voting platforms (“You may be rich yourself some day. And wouldn’t it be a *shame* if your future income was taxed heavily for all the government spends on you and yours?”). Certainly someone out there wants to be the next iTunes, just as others want to be the next Beatles and the next Angry Birds.

    And there is a Next Big Thing just often enough to keep people wanting to throw money at likely contenders. Take that away and you can pretty well watch the American economy collapse.