Billboard has run a lengthy Q&A with Ken Parks, Spotify’s chief content officer and MD in the US, in the wake of the service’s acquisition of The Echo Nest and amid growing rumours of a move towards an IPO. It covers a lot of ground, but our takeaway quotes from it are as follows. On getting artists on side: “The work is not over. We gotta make sure that we continue to maintain outreach and keep bombarding the artist community with real information. We’re very keen to make sure that’s just a first step in an ongoing conversation.” On upselling users from the free tier: “Our conversion is very good for a freemium business. It’s pretty astounding, actually. 20-25% in some territories, on average it’s north of 20%. That’s a huge number.” On YouTube diluting the licensed streaming market: “If all of that streaming activity were happening on our platform, the music economy would be in a lot better shape than it is today.” On the indie/major divide: “In terms of the [licensing] rates we’re proud that we have a philosophy that we need to treat everyone equally. Merlin and indies, majors, and that at the end of the day music should be valued the same whether it comes from an indie associated with Merlin or a major label act.”

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