Sean Parker must be enjoying the remaissance of his own personal brand thanks to the portrayal of his character in The Social Network. His name and place in the history of changing media has been reinforced thanks to the film.
This week he spoke about Spotify and it's role on the digital revolution.
Parker's key point here is that the majority of people consuming media today want one thing: accessibility. Although "piracy" has enabled the download/swapping of "4-10 trillion songs" (his estimate - interesting stat?), the fact is that everyone just wants to be able to get the music that they love.
So - out of the pillars of consumer choice: price, convenience, quality and pleasure - the main factor for people consuming music right now is CONVENIENCE. For some, this is iTunes. They can search, access and purchase at the click of a button. For others - this is still the CD because it is familiar and habitual. And others - the "pirates" - know where to search for torrents and can obtain what they need as quickly as the iTunes crowd.
Parker understands this - and that Spotify delivers convenience on an unprecedented level. For an American audience who do not yet have the service, the potential acesss to a vast catalogue must be mind boggling. And so scary for the industry used to controlling access to choice.
Whether or not this puts Spotify in the potential position to have the consumer "by the balls" is another issue. The market is defined by choice - and the consumer is the driving force. With the price point low, and need for access high, Spotify is in a strong position to differentiate and lead on service. If it wants to carve out it's place in the market, it must be the best at giving us access to the greatest selection of music at our fingertips. That will keep us coming back, and keep Spotify in the game.