September 20, 2009

Interview with Daniel Ek of Spotify

Videos, eight in total, of the interview of Daniel Ek of Spotify at The Glasshouse on September 17, 2009 (via Shak). Some tidbits:

* If 10+ % of users pay you have a very good freemium model. Less than 10 % of Spotify's users pay for Premium.
* Revenue split likely to be around 50/50, maybe 60/40 premium/advertising. Some people have reported this as 60 % of Spotify users are likely to be premium, which seems to be incorrect.
* Hope to launch in the US either late 2009 or early 2010.
* There's likely entrepreneurial opportunity (outside of Spotify) in moving concepts between the Western world and Asia
* To entrepreneurs: Think of one problem and one solution to that problem and you can build a company around it
* Spotify wants to be the platform for playing music, provide tools to developers
* Spotify is looking at how to help people share music with their friends (not playlist aggregation like ShareMyPlaylists etc)
* Spotify's two "secrets" for success: a great product and getting the music licenses
* Spotify has plenty more to prove in music before going into film and other content
* There will be several Spotify powered devices, but probably not hardware built by Spotify.
* Music taste is not currently widely used to target advertising, hopefully it can be used to improve the quality of advertising. Spotify will invest in making it better.
* Rights are getting more fragmented as artists run their own music companies and license to distributors in different territories.
* 50-100 people in the big music companies were the key success factors for getting the licensing deals as they supported the deals inside the music companies.
* Spotify has chosen to grow instead of being cash-flow positive
* Trying to build a company that is really big, run from Europe and is a stand-alone company (like SAP)
* Goal is to be a platform between the artist and the fan
* You [as an entrepreneur] always have doubts, but never doubted they could build a great product. At times doubted if artists and record labels would like it.
* Big setbacks: thought they'd get licenses within six months from founding but it took 2.5 years, user-information leakage in early 2009,

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