Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Spotify Signs On EMI for U.S. Launch. At Least One More to Go…

It’s getting closer: Spotify has finalized a U.S. distribution deal with EMI Music, multiple sources tell me.

Both EMI and Spotify declined to comment.

Coupled with last month’s Sony deal, Spotify now has the approval from two of the four major music labels for an American launch. But that still doesn’t guarantee you’ll see the streaming music subscription service in America anytime soon.

In order to make a credible offer to U.S. users, Spotify will need to at least get Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest label, on board, and it’s not there yet.

It would also be nice if Spotify could land Warner Music Group, which now seems more doable than in the past, given Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman’s increasingly positive comments about the company.

If and/or when Spotify does come to the U.S., it will also have to contend with new rules from Apple, which will require a 30 percent cut of any subscriptions the service sells through Apple’s iTunes platform. That tariff is going to be a significant problem for many of Spotify’s peers, who are working on slim margins to begin with; I don’t know how Spotify plans to address this one.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik