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Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel EK discussed the role social media and the digital revolution play in the evolving music industry in an interview with co-hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King that was broadcast live today, Dec. 6, 2012, on CBS THIS MORNING on the CBS Television Network (7:00 AM – 9:00 AM). Watch the interview in its entirety below!
Below are excerpts from the interview:
ROSE: So how do you characterize Spotify? Is it a musical application? Is it social media? What is it?
EK: Well, it's really a music app, but music, we think music is the most social thing there is. So it's probably a bit of both.
KING: But you know, you have been described, Daniel Ek, as the music man. You were named one of the top 100 most influential, you've been described as one of the most important men in music. Ashton Kutcher said this about you: "What Daniel recognized best is that if you make paying for songs easier than stealing them, people will pay." That just seems counter-intuitive to me.
EK: Well, it sort of is and isn't. I just think again, that in this society that we live in, one of the most precious commodities we have is our time. So if we make it convenient for people to do things, I think there's a huge market in that for pretty much everything.
ROSE: What's the most exciting thing happening in this arena for you today? The broad arena of social media, digital revolution, where we're going, mobile, all that.
EK: Right. Well, you're exactly right. There's two super trends really right now and one of them is social. More and more people are coming on to social media, whether it's Facebook or Twitter or even now Instagram, and more and more media really is becoming social. The other one is that we're getting more and more computer software. Phones are becoming computers, and we have these phones with us all the time. They're bringing us notification about what's going on in the world with our friends, and we are exchanging sort of real-time events with them, photos, music, you know, videos, etcetera. So it's just a really exciting time.
ROSE: Beyond music and photos, what's the most amazing application that you've seen in the last month?
EK: Oh. It's probably this app called "Up," which is basically a bracelet you can wear. And what it does is it allows you to sort of track your physical activities. So how much you've walked. How many calories you burned, etcetera. It's definitely something that I could use.
KING: Yeah. What would you say, though, about the music industry? How they feel about Spotify? I first heard about your company two years ago from the music industry executive, who shall remain nameless – Mike Kaiser – who said to me, this is really the wave of the future. Because I was thinking, but won't it hurt the music industry?
EK: Well, I think, again, you know, the music industry, because music is the most social object, it was probably one of the ones that was hit hardest of all media types when it comes to piracy. So, you know, a lot-the music industry back in the year 2000 was actually about a $45 billion industry, and now it's about $15 billion. It's one-third of where it used to be, but at the same time, people are consuming more music now than ever before. So it's pretty clear that there's something wrong here. And what's wrong is that people are listening to music illegally. What we're doing is taking them from illegal, an illegal service into Spotify.