Spotify CEO: 'Music Is Entering A Golden Age'

Spotify founder Daniel Ek denies that his streaming service can damage traditional music sales, and says fans can engage with music like never before. But is he hiding something?

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The music industry is about to enter "a golden age", according to Spotify founder Daniel Ek.

The CEO is convinced that Spotify's integration to social networks will help fans engage with music like never before, which in turn will encourage music sales.

Ek was addressing complaints that Spotify can harm traditional music sales by offering fans a cheap alternative to paying the full price for an album. "There's not a shred of data to suggest that," he told Grammy.com. "In fact, all the information available points to streaming services helping to drive sales. Album unit sales were up in the U.S. In 2011, the year Spotify launched, for the first time since 2004."

He adds that more than a dozen albums which debuted at the top of the Billboard chart were available on Spotify at launch.

Keen-eyed readers will notice the tact of Ek's choice of words, which only refers to currently available evidence. He does not specifically deny the complaints.

Regarding Spotify's social integration, Ek notes that he looks at sharing as a "really, really important for our business. We've found that the more social our users are, the faster they grow their own music library. And the faster they grow their music library, the faster they become paying customers."

He continued: "Personally speaking, I am more bullish on the future of the music industry than ever before, and I think we're kind of entering a golden age in music."

Despite accusations of poor royalty payouts for artists, and acts like Coldplay and Adele refusing to stream their newest albums at launch, it is hard to dispute that Spotify is becoming a legal haven for music fans. In turn, it has generated a new income stream for a once damaged industry.

"Spotify users are helping pay a ton of money back to the industry," Ek said. "You're talking 10 million active users, 2.5 million subscribers - most of them paying $120 (76) a year, which is double the amount of your average iTunes user."

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    metallicaftwlp
    azmandu87 wrote: metallicaftwlp wrote: Where is the appeal in Spotify? You pay money to listen to music but you don't own it? I'll stick to piratebay and buying CDs & Vinyls. As a music lover that enjoys many genres, this spotify thing seems horrible and frankly disgusts me, when I want to listen to music I like to listen to it instantly and not wait to stream it off the internet or whatever. It's not even 'your' music collection, just a bunch of songs there to listen to. I'd rather listen to the good radio stations. How does it disgust you? Have you used it? Personally I like it, especially for finding new artists. When you select an artist you can click on 'related artists' and it will give you 15-or-so suggestions for other similar bands to listen to. I've found a few bands on there that I've listened to and then gone on to buy they're albums, go to their gigs and buy their merch. It wouldn't have been possible without Spotify. The part about being instant? It is instant on Spotify, unless you live in the butthole of nowhere with dial-up internet connection. Everytime I've used it it's been instant with no buffering issues whatsoever. You can even use it on your phone as well (Android and iPhone, IIRC). [Believe it or not I'm not a Spotify spokesman ...]
    I hate the idea of not listening to my own music and streaming it all, it does not appeal to me at all. What if forever reason you can't connect to the internet or say on your iphone or whatever you only have a small amount of internet usage per month and you rely on that for all your music? No thanks. Maybe 'disgust' is a bit over the top but I really don't like the idea, but it seems like other people do.
    metallicaftwlp
    Where is the appeal in Spotify? You pay money to listen to music but you don't own it? I'll stick to piratebay and buying CDs & Vinyls. As a music lover that enjoys many genres, this spotify thing seems horrible and frankly disgusts me, when I want to listen to music I like to listen to it instantly and not wait to stream it off the internet or whatever. It's not even 'your' music collection, just a bunch of songs there to listen to. I'd rather listen to the good radio stations.
    performingchimp
    Here's what they don't tell you: Spotify is the death knell of the mainstream recording industry. It is part owned by the failing major labels. they love it because they get paid twice - one for each play of a song from their catalogue, and once again for the share dividends. Sadly the musicians aren't really a factor in that calculation. Spotify is borne out of the insane paranoia about file-sharing/piracy which has existed since the invention of the cassette tape. Spotify is not financially viable unless professional musicians are prepared to work for peanuts. Spotify thinks it is on the cutting edge because it has heard of facebook. Spotify is doomed, because they don't care if it succeeds, they care if they can get 100 million users, then sell it. Spotify is a bad joke told by an old tyrant on his death bed.
    lVlaniac
    Title is misleading, because music is always on a Golden Age, you just need to keep looking for good bands.
    nnb
    Golden Age? Is that like your golden years? Usually that means your entering to the rate of decline, keep talking about the good old days, need care givers and shun anything you don't understand.
    PersianWaters
    Spotify is the best thing to happen to the music industry yet. Here's why Spotify is superior to every other music platform we have today - 1) It gives you fine quality tracks with their respective album arts, all beautifully arranged, and easy to navigate and personalize. It gives you great suggestions, so could go on discovering new music in a hassle-free, convenient way. 2) This would be very appealing to those who are sick of shabbily ripped mp3 torrents and poor quality youtube videos. Personally, I am sick of the days where I'd rename all the tracks and assign album art to each and every one of them. 3) It would kill the whole generation of kids who wear Led Zeppelin T-shirts claiming to be hardcore fans, when they have actually heard only 'Stairway To Heaven'. Spotify being album-oriented, gives the user a heightened experience of discovery, which fizzed out with the advent of internet (especially Youtube). It caters to the needs of both the casual listener and the serious listener (like me). Spotify is music, back to its roots. 4) There are no storage issues involved with Spotify and the streaming is so quick that it leaves me convinced that I have all the tracks stored on my computer. 5) The user interface is unrivaled. I hope Spotify starts going lossless soon. That's going to be mega.
    AusMakka
    I've been using Spotify for 3 weeks now and love it. I've discovered so much new music as well. It's easy to use, it's good quality and love that I can use it on my PC or on my iphone. More than happy to pay my $12 a month. If you're a music lover, you'll love this.
    Palm*
    Spotify is awesome, I've found so much new music and went to see bands I wouldn't have found without it. I used to listen to a lot of heaven shall burn, but then their label removed their music from spotify and I haven't listened to them since. Not because I'm not a, true fan, but more because I don't want to and can't be arsed to download. And as a student I can't afford to buy cds, so spotify just helps me out a lot.
    danny_unleashed
    I really don't understand all the hate directed towards spotify. It's either people don't like to adjust to the new technology or they just hate big corporations >_> I understand it makes corporations wayyyyy more money than the artist but to me it's better than torrenting an album and the artist receives absolutely no revenue.
    azmandu87
    metallicaftwlp wrote: Where is the appeal in Spotify? You pay money to listen to music but you don't own it? I'll stick to piratebay and buying CDs & Vinyls. As a music lover that enjoys many genres, this spotify thing seems horrible and frankly disgusts me, when I want to listen to music I like to listen to it instantly and not wait to stream it off the internet or whatever. It's not even 'your' music collection, just a bunch of songs there to listen to. I'd rather listen to the good radio stations.
    How does it disgust you? Have you used it? Personally I like it, especially for finding new artists. When you select an artist you can click on 'related artists' and it will give you 15-or-so suggestions for other similar bands to listen to. I've found a few bands on there that I've listened to and then gone on to buy they're albums, go to their gigs and buy their merch. It wouldn't have been possible without Spotify. The part about being instant? It is instant on Spotify, unless you live in the butthole of nowhere with dial-up internet connection. Everytime I've used it it's been instant with no buffering issues whatsoever. You can even use it on your phone as well (Android and iPhone, IIRC). [Believe it or not I'm not a Spotify spokesman ...]