Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Spotify's Daniel Ek Explains Why the Music Business Needs Him, and You Do, Too (Video)

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek used to be confident that his buzzy music service would launch in the U.S. this year. That’s no longer the case, but Ek maintains that he’s going to get to the States sometime, and that people will love it when he does.

Here’s the thing, though: In Europe, where Ek has more than 10 million users, and 750,000 paying subscribers, music subscription services are a novel idea. In the U.S., they’re old hat: Ask Rhapsody. And Napster. And Rdio. And MOG. And Thumbplay, etc.

And subscription services haven’t really taken off, either: Most music listeners seem content to buy their music from Apple’s iTunes, or even brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Or they don’t pay for music at all.

So what’s going to make Ek and Spotify stand out? We’ll let him make his case, in his own words, in a highlight reel of the conversation I had with him onstage at D: Dive Into Mobile.


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— Clay Shirky, on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan