Spotify CEO Daniel Ek doesn’t do many interviews, but he spent a fair amount of time yesterday answering questions on Q&A site Quora in one of its “sessions” – its equivalent to Reddit’s Ask Me Anything interviews.
Among his answers: Ek talked about competition from Apple, Google and Amazon. “The big platform companies don’t generally like partnering. We do. This opens up lots of doors,” he said.
“We think about them more in terms of how to make Spotfy so easy, so fun, and so relevant for our users that whether you wait on lines for every new Apple device, get your groceries from Amazon Prime, or use every Google mail and workplace app, you still want to listen to music on Spotify because it’s the best experience there is.”
Ek also addressed a question about the financial fortunes of SoundCloud and Pandora. “We have a very different business model in that Spotify is predominantly subscription. With subscription comes predictable revenues,” said Ek.
“So we feel comfortable investing in new markets, investing in our product and our content, because we know we have a robust, growing business model behind us.”
Spotify is reportedly about to reach the milestone of 30 million subscribers, although its paying subscribers have yet to help it turn a profit: in 2014, its annual revenues increased by 45% to €1.08bn, but its net losses nearly trebled to €162.3m as a result of that investment in new markets, product and content.
Ek also talked about Spotify’s start in Sweden – “Had we started with the US there’s no way we would still be around. The US market just wasn’t ready.” – and encouraged new artists to “to convince people to put it in their playlists and share it if they like it” in order to get into Spotify’s viral-chart and Discover Weekly algorithms.