Daniel Ek (co-founder of Spotify) and Sean Parker (Director at Spotify) just took the stage here at D10, with Walt Mossberg asking the two about the company’s impact in America, negotiations with record labels and — perhaps surprisingly — its links with Apple. Outside of confirming that there’s still around 10 million Spotify users in the States (with around three million of those being of the paid variety), the duo also confirmed that it’s working daily to improve the catalog. Said Ek: “We’re up to 18 million songs, growing at 10,000 or 20,000 songs per day — it’s very much a growing catalog.” Walt was curious as to why iTunes had upwards of 30 million tracks, and why all of the services simply don’t have the same library, but both players were quick to brush off the topic and pivot directly to the importance of playlists.
Ek stated: “If you look at iTunes, the vast majority of songs haven’t been purchased by anyone — it’s driven by hits. We see 80 percent of our whole catalog listened to.” Following that, Parker contributed: “The playlist is now the CD. It used to be a few songs were wanted by the consumer, and the rest of it was garbage. It’s the new mixtape, but accelerated on a massive scale.” As it turns out, Spotify actually sells “bundles” (which are glorified playlists) as pay products in Europe, and when Walt asked why these weren’t available in America, Parker obliged: “We just haven’t released it yet.” In other words, they’re coming soon.
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