Sean Parker: Apple Tried To Prevent Spotify From Launching In U.S.

Sean Parker: Apple Tried To Prevent Spotify From Launching In U.S.

Remember a few years back when all the cool kids in Europe bragged about how they were enjoying this really cool new music service called Spotify, and you couldn’t even try it because Spotify wasn’t available in the USA? It took forever for Spotify to launch their awesome product in the U.S. Rumors floated that the hangup was caused by legal issues with the licensing of the music, but in an interview today at AllThingsD’s D10 conference, Sean Parker claimed Apple was trying to keep the music service from launching Stateside.

“There was some indication that that might have been happening…You hear things, people send you emails. There was a sense in which Apple was threatened by what we were doing.”

Apple’s iTunes platform has dominated the music industry for the last several year, yet it lacks the streaming and social elements that make Spotify such a popular service. Noticing a possible competitor in the music space that could potentially take customers away from the iTunes/iPod ecosystem, Apple may have tried to pull strings to prevent Spotify from competiting with iTunes in the U.S. market.

Parker went on to say that, “[Music] is still such a small part of [Apple's] overall business, it wouldn’t be hugely significant to their bottom line. It’s certainly a much smaller industry than it was 12 years ago.” Even though Apple doesn’t make a large chunk of their overall revenue from iTunes, being one of the world’s largest music distributors is hugely beneficial to Apple’s ecosystem. iTunes’ media content gives Apple products a big edge over Samsung, Motorola, and HTC, so we wouldn’t be surprised if there were some truth to Parker’s claims.

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  • jonfoxphoto

    Why didn’t Apple just try to buy Spotify in the first place?

  • Tallest_Skil

    Why didn’t Apple just try to buy Spotify in the first place?

    Who says they didn’t?

    Who says they actually tried to prevent it?
  • causticmango

    Riiiiiight. Sure they did.

  • lwdesign1

    Where’s the specifics here? What did Apple actually do or not do? How about some actual information? Is this just Sean Parker’s suspicions or are there actual data to back this up? Please, Buster, how about some research that clarifies the issue rather than a tiny article that grazes the surface and provides no substantive statement on what Apple did? This amounts to rumor, speculation and hearsay. I come to CoM for information, not gossip. If none of what Parker says can be substantiated, then that too is news.

  • Kenton Presbrey

    I used Spotify during the 6 month free trial period and I wasn’t all that impressed. Personally, I don’t listen to enough new music (because it usually blows goats) to pay the 8 bucks a month. Like most people, I got all the music I like in the mid 2000s FOFREE. I would rather directly support an artist by purchasing their music on iTunes rather than paying a monthly fee. Plus, Spotify doesn’t have Cover Flow so screw them:)

    I can see how someone would like Spotify who was into listening to new music, old music, whatever, all I’m saying is its just not for me. 
  • markrlangston

    Where’s the specifics here? What did Apple actually do or not do? How about some actual information? Is this just Sean Parker’s suspicions or are there actual data to back this up? Please, Buster, how about some research that clarifies the issue rather than a tiny article that grazes the surface and provides no substantive statement on what Apple did? This amounts to rumor, speculation and hearsay. I come to CoM for information, not gossip. If none of what Parker says can be substantiated, then that too is news.

    The tone’s a bit harsh but you’re spot on. Parker says there were some emails floating around but what was in those emails? What evidence do you have that Apple was doing anything at all?

    And who’s to say someone wasn’t posing as Apple when those blocks were put in place? Unless you have hard-core evidence — dates, times, signatures, voice mails, text messages — just shut your yap. 
  • mr_bee

    The only thing that is certain is that Sean Parker is the biggest douchebag in the business.  He has no real talent, no brains, no intelligence and no personality. (well, other than the douchebaggery)

  • technochick

    someone needs to adjust his tin foil hat if he thinks that Apple was controlling the license talks etc to stop Spotify. Especially after already allowing Pandora etc into the app store

    If Apple was doing anything to slow it down it would have been rejecting the app for private API use type things. 
  • technochick

    The only thing that is certain is that Sean Parker is the biggest douchebag in the business.  He has no real talent, no brains, no intelligence and no personality. (well, other than the douchebaggery)

    is it just me or does that drawing in the back look like an FBI wanted sketch

  • Jason Velazquez

    What, exactly, were Parker’s claims? That he hears things and emails float? Great investigative journalism. Look out for NYT to pick this one up.

  • extra_medium

    Spotify was a case of “i cant have it so i want it because i cant have it and it must be great.”

    We already had multiple services in the US that were basically the same thing like napster, zune, rhapsody etc that allow you to pay a monthly fee and download all you want.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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