[INTERVIEW] Spotify’s Yann Thebault discusses the evolution of streaming and the future of digital music

[INTERVIEW] Spotify’s Yann Thebault discusses the evolution of streaming and the future of digital music


In the final of my interviews with top music tech leaders participating at MIDEM this year I speak with Yann Thebault, Managing Director Southern Europe for Spotify.  In our discussion, Thebault goes into more depth about the importance of startups for Spotify, how streaming is still very much on an evolutionary path, and how the connected home will be at the heart of the future digital music experience.

Why is it important for you to participate to MIDEM?

Midem is an interesting occasion for us to be up to date with the music industry evolutions, listen to conferences, meet our partners and support innovation.

How MIDEM has evolved over time?

Midem’s program has become more valuable and relevant through the years. There’s more attention to technological evolutions and streaming has become a key topic of this important meeting. We are glad streaming has been accepted as the best solution for online music.

What about startups at MIDEM?

Tech startups are very interesting for us, as they bring innovation and freshness. We already bought some startups, who created interesting services such as playlist editing, lyrics or users interaction.

What are your goals for 2014?

We aim to make more people all around the world discover, listen to and share music via our streaming platform. Our model is Sweden, where 70% of music sales are digital.

Streaming is quite a recent innovation and there’s still a lot of evangelizing to do. For this reason we recently launched our free offer on mobile and we are glad of its positive impact on the number of streaming users.

What about your competitors?

Streaming offers are basically similar, but today we stand out thanks to our free mobile offer, the transparency of music royalties distribution, our services of music recommendation and algorithms and the social network. Spotify wants to be different thanks to the quality of its offer, though innovation, answering to all the listening needs and having a large catalogue in every music genre.

What will be the future trends of music, now that many connected devices are appearing?
We think the future of music will be a connected home, where objects will be able to recommend music analysing the mood of a person in a specific time.