back to article Spotify 'sold soul' to boy king Zuckerberg

I can't quite recall serial entrepreneur Michael Robertson ever running a big, successful, profit-making internet business – and his latest radio venture seriously misjudges both the medium and the market. But as a pundit, he occasionally airs views that others are too timid to articulate. Robertson takes aim at digital music …


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  1. Tom 38

    Not only have they sold their soul, but the bastard version of spotify with facebook integration now crashes when you run it under Wine. Bastards.

    1. The Original Ash

      The easy solution to that is to start using an alternative service. Youtube if you have unlimited data, BitTorrent if you don't. As usual, a great user experience has been ruined by corporate greed, and now unlicensed media is the most appealing format again.

      Over the past year they took around £150 from me in subscriptions, and I listened to maybe 30 different artists. I'm fairly certain I could have bought the music I listened to for less than that. I won't make that mistake again :)

    2. pyt533

      The Spotify for Linux works pretty well even if it is a preview release.

    3. tyndyll

      Spotify with Wine

      The native Linux client is still working, but you require a premium account

      1. Tom 38
        Thumb Up

        Native linux client

        Yeah, it looks pretty nice, however it uses Qt (I'm a Gnome man), and it is, as you say, a native _linux_ client, and I'm running FreeBSD and don't fancy trying to locate all the necessary Qt libraries to run it under linux emulation.

        I've been using despotify for now (also needs a premium account).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Get over it

          Qt and GTK are both part of the Linux Standard Base for desktops. Every desktop Linux system should have both of them on it. Get over your Qt hating already, it's puerile.

          Yes, you're on BSD, so good luck.

  2. Alex Walsh

    I understood Sony BMG Music, Universal Music, Warner Music, EMI and Merlin between them own around 18% of the share capital in spotify? Unless it's changed since the early issue back in 2008.

    IMHO that alters things as little as Spotify should be seen more as a platform rather than an application in it's own right. It exists to stop punters paying their money to Apple or pirating, probably in that order :)

  3. Anonymous Coward 15


    built on sand.

    1. zen1

      sink into into the swamp

      The second burns down, falls over then sinks into the swamp. But the third castle, after becoming a bastion for all of your personal data, will evently either explode or be pillaged, before sinking into the swamp.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't do facebook

    I am a Spotify premium subscriber. I do not do facebook. I suspect that something will change. Bye bye Spotify.

  5. BRYN

    Michael Robertson

    Do you honestly trust this man for commentary on anything see

    bitter truth from the man whose defended himself from Michael Robertson litigious nature.

  6. Matthew


    Napster in the post-Sean Parker world is surprisingly good. Sure I pay £5 a month for unlimited streamed music, but I consider all the music I can eat for the price of 3 CD's a year a bargain.

    1. Dick Emery

      You pay £20 a CD? You are shopping in the wromg places mate. But it's still not a bad deal considering.

    2. Antony Riley

      Jesus, they cost 20 quid each these days?

      It's been a long time since I bought a (new, album) CD, I guess it's going to continue to be a long time.

      I struggle to justify more than 20€ on a computer game, let a alone a music CD.

      Save it all for the beer fund.

  7. Jess--

    the day spotify "requires" me to use facebook is the day spotify gets the premium subscription canceled and the software gets deleted. I suspect that a good number of current subscribers will feel the same.

    I do use spotify and facebook but I have no wish to link the 2, as it stands right now facebook functions are turned off in spotify and it is not aware of my facebook login details

    1. noad

      no FB

      Yup, same. I don't have a FB account and have no plans to get one.

      For me Spotify works fine without one, and as it offers better sound quality than Napster for the same £5, it keeps my business.

  8. Kyoraki

    Spotify sold it's soul?

    I don't remember it having one for a long time now. A fitting end for the promising startup that slowly succumbed to corporate greed. A lesson for future music services, I hope.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I totally agree with this article. i was lucky enough to get a spotify account before they required facebook for authentication. I even was recommending it to friends.. until one brought this facebook business to my attention. Can't say that I've recommended it since.

  10. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    In retrospect

    I think Robertson has actually been spot on about the trends that music distribution is going to take - unfortunately, living at the bleeding edge of music distribution, he's always going to get sued first and then eventually everyone else will catch on afterwards.

    Realistically, the music market is going to change eventually given that the digital age asteroid has struck - we're just watching the dinosaurs die these days - there's no rational reason for megalithic "music companies" in a digital age.

  11. John Styles

    I can just visualise the Tesco Facebook merger

    Jeyes Fluid [Like]


    It can only be a matter of time.

  12. Fatty Eglon

    Spotify plot loss ... customers next.

    I was a regular Spotify user till they changed their policy on the free version. I could cope the the ads to benefit from their previously excellent product. Since the 5 plays limit, I've barely used it.

    I would consider paying the ten quid, but if they make Facemuck obligatory as part of the package I'd rather eat my own hands.

    I really despise what Zuckerborg has done to life, the universe and kids everywhere.

    1. Nights_are_Long

      That last line earns you a pint Sir, I totally agree and would like to see zuck harmed in a very intimate fashion.

  13. Jan Hargreaves

    The sooner a company who only pays an artist a thousendth of a penny for a stream goes under the better. They have got the media hype yet they are not a long term solution to the music industry.

    Die Spotify Die.

  14. mp3michael

    Andrew agrees with me? Whoa - that's a victory!

    Anytime I can get Andrew to even kinda agree with me, I call that a victory.

    I will politely remind him that I was founder and CEO of digital music pioneer which I sold for about $400 million. At the time of the sale we were doing $80 million in revenue with profit of $18 million. Not Google money, but show me any other digital music company that has ever made any profit with a consumer digital music business. Not sure there are many others so I think I'm somewhat qualified to make economic assessments.

    -- MR

  15. DeKrow

    You can't spell streaming

    without reaming

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