Although wildly popular where it’s available in Europe, streaming music service Spotify has had a hard time breaking into the United States, having missed their self-imposed, end-of-year 2010 deadline due to music label recalcitrance.
Recent reports indicate that Spotify has finally managed to sign a deal with Sony, and it’s expected that more labels will soon follow suit. But why did it take so long to make this progress? Spotify’s head of business development Faisal Galaria thinks it’s because of Apple.
Galaria explains the problem in an interview with StrategyEye:
If you’re the digital team [at a label] and 80% of your revenue was coming from one place, how much are you going to p*ss them off until someone else can guarantee all that revenue from a new source?
Put yourself into their shoes for a moment – you’re a nice, fat big executive at label X, Y, Z. You’re getting half a million dollars a year as long as you hit your bonus. Your bonus means that 80% of your revenues comes from iTunes. Are you going to tell iTunes where to go? Because your half a million dollar bonus has now gone.
Galaria goes on to suggest that Apple might be actively cock-blocking Spotify’s entry into the US because of their own cloud music ambitions, which may well be true. If Cupertino’s going to go on standing in Spotify’s way, though, it would be nice if they’d compensate for it by introducing their own, equally excellent streaming music service. Some of us are really sick of waiting.