clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Spotify's Daniel Ek and Sean Parker: 'We're not competing with Apple, we're competing with piracy'

New, 85 comments

Sean Parker and Daniel Ek talk Spotify at D10

parker ek
parker ek

Today at D10, Spotify's Daniel Ek and Sean Parker took to the stage with Walt Mossberg to discuss the future of their streaming music business. The conversation covered lots of ground that we've been over before, such as the company's user numbers (10 million active, 3 million paid if you're keeping count).

There were some rather interesting moments during the discussion, however. Both Ek and Parker were adamant that the company wasn't necessarily competing with Apple and iTunes, and was more focused on trying to stem music piracy. Ek said, "It's not about competing with iTunes, it's about replacing the behavior that exists with piracy services." Parker added, "We like to say that we're competing with piracy."

Parker also pointed out that what attracted him to Spotify was how it stacked up to his previous music business. "The bar of what it means to have a great service was set in 1999 by Napster — I saw the service Daniel was operating, it not only met the bar, but exceeded it," he said.

The most interesting tidbit that came out of the conversation, however, centered around a question Mossberg asked on rumors that Apple tried to "keep Spotify out of the US." Ek was hesitant to answer, but Parker was not. "There was some indication that that may have been the case." Adding, "It's a small industry in a lot of ways. It's a handful of guys who are really running this industry. They tend to talk amongst each other. You hear things, people send you emails... there is definitely a sense that Apple was threatened by what we were doing."

Update: The post has been updated with Sean Parker's full quote regarding Apple's alleged involvement in trying to suppress Spotify's move into the US.