Feeds

Spotify founder hints at video, P2P sharing, world domination

Thinking big

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.