Spotify's Sean Parker claims Apple tried to prevent their US launch

By on May 31, 2012, 12:30 PM

A director at Spotify claims that Apple tried to prevent them from entering the US market. Sean Parker says that Cupertino felt threatened by their presence and that he got the impression from others in the industry that Apple tried to thwart them from entering their home turf.

Parker spoke at the All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes yesterday. His comments came in response to Walt Mossberg asking if Apple had tried to keep Spotify out of the US. Reuters notes that there was a brief moment of silence and awkward looks between Parker and Spotify chief Daniel Ek sitting beside him before the director moved forward to answer.

It was during Spotify’s negotiations with executives in the music industry that he learned of Apple’s alleged intent. He told Mossberg that you hear things and that people send you emails, further suggesting that Apple might have felt threatened.

"There was some indication that that might have been happening," Parker said while also noting that he could “get away with saying things” that Ek could not.

Parker got his start as an entrepreneur when he co-founded Napster with Shawn Fanning in 1999. He later went on to become the first president and investor of Facebook before ultimately serving on Spotify’s board after a $15 million investment in 2010. He was portrayed by Justin Timberlake in the 2010 movie “The Social Network.”

Spotify launched in the US last July as an invite-only service before opening its doors for anyone to join in September. As of January 2012, the service had 3 million paid subscribers which represented 20 percent of their overall active user base.

The publication says that Apple declined to comment on the allegations.




User Comments: 7

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Guest said:

sure they did buddy... go on...

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

<p>sure they did buddy... go on...</p>

Let me guess, you own Apple products?

iTunes a is a huge cash cow for Apple, and more importantly they were the ones who actually got the labels on board. That was always the biggest obstacle. Why shouldn't they use their influence with the labels and others to prevent a rival from entering the marketplace? And why shouldn't they feel that others are going to be building upon their hard work?

I would actually be surprised if they didn't try to block them, rather than trying to do so. Are you actually going to tell me that Apple got where they are by being nice guys who always play fair? They're #1, you think anyone gets there in any sort of honorable or righteous fashion?

MilwaukeeMike said:

<p>I would actually be surprised if they didn't try to block them, rather than trying to do so. Are you actually going to tell me that Apple got where they are by being nice guys who always play fair? They're #1, you think anyone gets there in any sort of honorable or righteous fashion?</p>

yeah, no kidding. This should really only be news if Apple HADN'T tried to stop them. Getting to the top involves a lot more than just a great product. You need marketing, a strong legal team, good govt lobbyists, and a touch of ruthlessness.

(why does TS always call Apple 'Cupertino' the 2nd time they're mentioned in a story? Is Apple really on par with national capitals?)

Guest said:

"yeah, no kidding. This should really only be news if Apple HADN'T tried to stop them."

I think I'd much rather know something about the shit they try to pull rather than not.

Tygerstrike said:

No real surprise that Apple tried. They do anything they can to protect their wallets.

Guest said:

I like APPLE products but $1 or more for a song is insane. Paying $9.99 a month for Unlimited songs from Spotify is right on the $$. It's one of the first monthly services I have ever paid for. I always said if songs were like .10 or so per song like some illegal overseas services I would of bought them. I never paid for a MP3 but $9.99 for high quality unlimited music is more realistic. They need to realize if you make realistically priced legal services people will pay. I think APPLE was just trying to protect their cash cow but I'm sure they knew its a rip off so they couldn't stop Spotify. I think the movie industry will be next in the coming years.

Guest said:

exactly, I don't doubt at all apple tried to intimidate spotify. itunes is where apple makes a huge portion of their money. and spotify for the price of one cd on itunes you can get hundreds of thousands on your mobile. that being said, itunes is better in the way if you have att in the west, or verizon in the east and dealing with spoty service, spotify will cut out and/or not work at all.

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