Napster co-founder Sean Parker recently gave his thoughts on the music industry and how he plans to solve its problems at the Daily Beast's Innovators Summit – Reboot America!. "The ultimate answer is you have to accept that the war on piracy is a failure," he said, estimating that 4 to 10 trillion songs have been illegally downloaded versus 4 billion legally.
Speaking of his friends, he said, "They use pirate services because they're more convenient. The TV industry has provided an adequate response [to the digital revolution.] It's an industry in transition but it’s an industry that's doing it in a way that's more civil." Parker believes that people are willing to pay for convenience and accessibility in TV. He's more focused on the music industry but he believes the same rules apply. You can watch him speak in the video below (via The Daily Beast):
Parker's solution is Spotify, a DRM-based music service that allows unlimited streaming of content from a multitude of major and independent record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group, and Universal. The desktop application also allows you to import music from either iTunes or directly from local files. Spotify provides an unlimited platform for streaming on the desktop, but the client holds all its music files locked with the program so you can't move it to your mp3 player (but Spotify apps are available): it's unlimited streaming within a closed environment.
Parker invested $14.86 million in Spotify last August, giving him five percent ownership of the service. Napster may have gone bankrupt, but it will still be remembered as the revolution focused on bringing the music industry into the Internet age. Parker wants to finish what he started. He says that with Spotify, users get addicted to the custom library of music they build for themselves. "You have no choice," he says bluntly. "We've got you by the balls, you'll have to become a subscriber."
The company has 10 million users in Europe, and more than half a million paying subscribers. The service has yet to launch in the US, but Parker today said he expects an "end of year launch for Spotify."