Spotify communications head Jonathan Prince tweeted the above about our newest conversation with UMG head Lucian Grainge. In the piece, Grainge explores the nuances of the streaming landscape while reiterating that ad-supported, on-demand free streaming is not a sustainable model on its own.
The tweet from Prince (whose tenure in the Obama administration was undoubtedly an extended lesson in realpolitik) follows a series of pitfalls for Spotify. These include the exits of two key execs (Chief Content Officer Ken Parks and General Counsel Jared Grusd) within a week of one another, the EU’s finding nothing to pursue regarding Apple and the labels’ alleged collusion, more jabs from Taylor Swift and widespread suggestion that the streamery’s much-vaunted IPO was on the ropes.
Add to this Apple’s impressive initial batch of subscribers and the success of its Dre exclusive; Daniel Ek notoriously tweeted “Oh ok” to the Apple Music launch, and his blasé response is ringing particularly hollow right now.
The House of Ek has hitherto held a hardline position of “our model works” in defending its freemium tier. Could Prince’s comment be a further indication of Spotify’s softening of that stance?