At least Spotify is honest about its issues and challenges…

With Spotify heading for a public stock offering, founder Daniel Ek has had to become more transparent about the issues the company faces. NPR takes a look.

“Feels great to have the cat out of the bag. Transparency breeds trust,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek tweeted Wednesday, just after the Securities and Exchange Commission published his company’s 256-page financial opus. The doorstopper document, called an F-1, is Spotify’s manifesto ahead of going public, breaking down the 12-year-old streaming service’s founders’ hopes and dreams, its many problems and the minutiae of its accounting. It’s the most complete picture of Spotify’s internal landscape that we’ve yet seen, giving us a detailed glimpse into a company that has helped reshape our relationship to music in the digital world.

Ek’s tweet was probably a genuine sigh of relief. Any company that either pioneers or dominates a novel way to leverage tech is, necessarily perhaps, a black box of trade-secret special sauces — especially when its service is so widely used, and so frequently maligned, as his.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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