Feeds

Spotify founder hints at video, P2P sharing, world domination

Thinking big

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Video

Ek was asked if the features that made Spotify so great at music delivery wouldn't also work in its favor with video?

He agreed, but it was a case of not yet - music would keep Spotify busy for the next couple of years.

Of course with video it's up against the muscle of Google, which as Telco 2.0 described here recently (see Google's real YouTube strategy), is building its own Content Delivery Network. Now you can understand why Google threw its weight behind the "net neutrality" scare - it tips the playing field firmly in its direction.

IPO?

Ek was asked if Spotify was really designed to be bought - a theme pursued by follow-up questions from the floor.

"We've invested more than €8m of our own money... we're not interested in any short-term gains. We want to make this into an independent company, we might put it on the stock exchange at some point, but we're not in it for the short-term gain."

Cannibalisation?

Charles Cosh, founder of label Moksha, asked two good questions: what percentage of users go out to buy product? And "when Spotify sell out, what percentage of that money will be returned to publishers and record companies to make up for the fact that you've got cheap rates at the moment?"

Ek complimented the Shamen manager on the first, and dodged the second.

"We only have a very limited amount of data about purchasing habits. Two months ago we had the first download integration. The download integration we have now is not very good, I can tell you that. It demands a right click, and then after about 14 clicks you can actually buy a product," he replied.

"Despite that, there's a lot of people that were impressed by the numbers we had. We're working on a one-click download solution with 7Digital, press buy, press OK and you buy a recording. My hope is to get it out in the next couple of months."

Ek said the buying habits of 80 per cent of Spotify users were unchanged, 10 per cent were buying more music, and 20 per cent were buying fewer sound recordings.

No, this doesn't add up to 100: we asked him afterwards and he said it was a multiple choice question. Color us confused, still.

What about returning some of the proceeds of a big bucks acquisition, or an IPO, back to the creators, then?

Ek replied: "We as an industry have to realize [online music] is a very nascent thing. In ten years the transactional model has worked, but the truth is 95 per cent of downloads are illegal, and you guys aren't being compensated at all from them. What if we can take all of those into a legal environment - isn't that worth something? But it takes time."

Spotify: World Domination beckons

Catching up with Ek afterwards, we asked him about one intriguing option for Spotify that no one has really noticed yet. Spotify maintains a huge cache of your music. You can limit it to a modest 10GB. If you think about it, Spotify is building up a nice music library for you.

Yes, said Ek. Spotify had made the decision to encrypt the cache using a home-grown DRM. But yes, it was a music library.

Now consider that Spotify already does P2P. Songs can pulled from users on the same network, and that's the company's sales pitch to ISPs: partner with us, and save bandwidth. So couldn't Spotify at some point just flip the switch and become your iTunes replacement?

The answer was intriguing.

Ek said when you have an access model there's no real difference between a stream and a download, and while it's been a traditional distinction - from the days of radio and wax cylinders - the music business shouldn't get hung up on it. The important thing was the access model.

Spotify needs time for your music collection and playlists to accumulate - then it's ready to flip the switch.

Our Spotify series continues: catch Part One here and an exclusive look at the numbers in Part Two, here. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.