Beats Music has arrived, and the battle of streaming services is heating up. But Spotify CEO Daniel Ek doesn’t seem very worried. In an interview with Billboard he dismissed Pandora, took some subtle shots at Beats Music, and explained why Thom Yorke doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
I don’t really view them as a competitor. The rest of the world seems to, for some reason. We want Spotify to be your music player. We don’t want to be the radio service; we don’t want to be the place where you watch a music video and then a cat the next moment. We want to be the place where you store and collect, where you build your playlist for your dinner party or your workout. That is very different from Pandora.
On Beats Music:
Our way of doing this is not just slapping some celebrity brand on it and hoping it will be good. We are a social service; we are a product company. People have tried to put a brand on it and thought that’s enough, and they have failed: Microsoft, Nokia — many big companies.
He also addresses Thom Yorke’s criticism of Spotify:
This is the single biggest shift since the inception of recorded music, so it is naturally going to draw criticism and speculation. [Yorke] looks at this and says over a million streams gives me a few thousand dollars, and he says if I had a million downloads [which pay higher royalty rates], that would mean $1 million — so Spotify is not good. But the difference is, he would not have had a million downloads because they are not comparable. In fact, with 24 million users — and Apple has 500 million users — we already have billions of streams today.