On Thursday, TechCrunch wrote about Spotify having 30 000 users in the US and questioning why it hasn’t launched there yet. The post is highly controversial compared to what Spotify has to say officially. Spotify has stated (at the end of the post) that they don’t have 30 000 users in the US and they have good relations to all their partners. TechCrunch stated otherwise referring to their well placed sources, close to the company.
So what’s the big deal behind all this? I think this whole episode is a great example of controlling, or trying to control your public relations in the way that is favorable to your business. While many may question the morale of TechCrunch for writing about issues this controversially – they have some very good reasons behind doing so.
First and foremost, while online media has been questioned about the truthfulness they portray, established media companies such as TechCrunch have to aim for accuracy if they wish to keep their position in the tech media world. Getting caught pants down and called liars, liars does not take them this far.
Secondly, it is the job of media to cover issues whether they are official statements of companies or not. It is the editorial line that states what sources to trust – essentially with your brand. Many forget that media companies are constantly betting their brands with controversial stories so it is not lightly that issues like these are covered.
However, there are reasons for Spotify to defend their points of views as well. Spotify is “late” with their US launch as they have had to postpone it for quite some time. Music business is among the most difficult in terms of legalities and launching in the largest domestic market with enough critical mass is far from easy. Thus it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that things don’t always go as initially planned.
There is also the possibility that Spotify is still negotiating it’s deals in the US and getting word out before you have the initial say is always dangerous to your negotiating position (even though the large record labels are partners in the company). I wouldn’t be surprised that Spotify is very careful about what is being said about them for this very reason.
Nevertheless, as Billboard wrote, one thing is for sure – the Americans can’t wait to have Spotify enter the market.