Is Spotify on the Market?

While we Canadians are (legally) blocked from using Spotify, anyone who spends any time in the online music space knows that they’re a Big Deal when it comes to streaming music services.  Next to Pandora, Spotify is probably the most-used of all the services currently available.  But the company is losing money.  It’s not just hemorrhaging cash, either. Imagine if your carotid and femoral arteries were both slashed open and the only thing keeping you alive were gallons of blood being transfused into your arm via a firehose.

However, anyone in the streaming arena knows that this is a long game.  There will be plenty of hardships now, but eventually things will sort themselves out.  Don’t kid yourself; streaming is where everything is headed–which is why Spotify is a tasty target.  For example, Twitter allegedly thought about buying Spotify but ultimately held back.

But buy Spotify from whom?  That’s where it gets interesting.  According to Digital Music News, the major record labels (Universal, Sony, Warner) collectively own about a 20% stake in the company and would like to unload it to a big telecom company in exchange for some kind of equity stake.  A price of $10 billion has been floated.

With Amazon launching their own streaming music, a YouTube service on the horizon and with the Apple-Beats deal, we’re moving closer to an era of consolidation in this space.  You can just feel it.

Meanwhile, consumer adoption of streaming music services is on the rise.  Songza, the company for which I work, has a solid 2.7 million monthly users.  And a new survey suggests that nearly two-thirds of anglophone Canadians say they’ve streamed music.  Usage has doubled in this country since 2012, but we’ve still got a long way to go.  The figure I’ve heard is that we’re 86th in the world when it comes to streaming music.

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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