Spotify's long-delayed U.S. launch may have been due to pressure from Apple, shareholder Sean Parker said Wednesday at the D:All Things Digital conference.
Parker was short on specifics, however. "There was some indication that that might have been happening," Parker told moderator Walt Mossberg, according to a report at the All Things D blog. "You hear things, people send you emails... There was a sense in which Apple was threatened by what we were doing."
Rumors that Apple protects its market position are not new. Parker's comments about Apple were reminiscent of allegations that Apple had retaliated against labels that engaged in promotions at Amazon's MP3 store. A March 2010 report by Billboard's Ed Christman claimed Apple had withheld marketing support for releases that were featured in Amazon's Daily Deals promotion. "When that happened," an executive told Billboard, "iTunes said, 'Enough of that shit.' "
CEO Daniel Ek was also on stage but stayed out of the conversation about Apple. Ek instead emphasized familiar Spotify talking points: the service is an alternative to piracy, a way for artists to monetize their back catalogs and a great tool for music discovery. "We're really good at making it easier to find new music through playlists," said Ek according to CNET, adding that Spotify has 700 million playlists for listeners to share and hear.