Spotify recently launched a new original podcast about its own history, which provides details about not only how the platform was created, but also gives an overview of the music industry. Although the first two episodes talk about the challenges in fighting music piracy in the digital era, Apple’s iTunes was completely ignored by Spotify in the podcast.
As noted by The Verge, the podcast features some interesting interviews, which includes a talk with Sean Parker, the creator of Napster, and Lars Ulrich of Metallica. The Spotify founders discussed how music piracy encouraged the development of Spotify at the time, as they wanted to offer the “ease of pirating music” but as something legitimate.
However, iTunes wasn’t even mentioned in the podcast while they were talking about piracy. It’s impossible to ignore how the iPod and iTunes Music Store were essential in reducing digital music piracy as they made it easier for customers to buy original songs, but Spotify tells in its story that music distribution went from “CD stores to Napster to Spotify.”
If talk about being easier than piracy sounds familiar, it’s probably because that was part of the pitch for the iTunes Music Store, too. It seems, for the most part, that iTunes and the iPod are pretty much completely ignored. The podcast presents music distribution as going from CD stores to Napster to Spotify. Apple and Spotify aren’t the best of friends, but it’s honestly somewhat hilarious to hear how the story completely ignores the fact that people could, in fact, buy digital music (an option that was around even before Spotify launched).
This could be related to the fact that Apple and Spotify don’t have a good relationship. Spotify often accuses Apple of being a monopoly since the company requires other streaming services available for iPhone and iPad to pay a 30% commission for subscriptions, which is something Apple itself doesn’t have to pay for Apple Music.
If you’re curious to learn more about the history of Spotify, check out the podcast “Spotify: A Product Story” — which of course is available exclusively on Spotify.