Spotify goes live in Germany

By | Published on Tuesday 13 March 2012


Spotify has finally gone live in Germany. The streaming service hasn’t been available in the key European market previously, mainly because of concerns expressed about its business model by collecting society GEMA, which licences publishing rights in the country.

Indeed at the Reeperbahn music conference in 2010, GEMA rep Alexander Wolf was pretty blunt when talking about the streaming service, saying he couldn’t see it ever being licensed in Germany without a change in its business model. Since then, of course, Spotify has altered its priorities somewhat to put more emphasis on paid subscriptions, with its free-to-use ad-funded platform more of an upsell tool than standalone service.

Plus there have been rumours that the major music companies – which have equity in Spotify via their labels, and through their music publishing companies are also stakeholders in GEMA – have been putting pressure on the royalty body to change its stance. And, indeed, the royalties body has licensed various Spotify competitors since 2010.

Spotify reps confirmed their imminent arrival in Germany yesterday morning, and the service went live in the country at midnight. Confirming their German launch, Spotify’s Jeff Levick told the BBC: “It’s the third largest music market in the world and is a very important. We take it very seriously and wanted to make sure that when we did launch in Germany it was at the right time with the right product”.

Meanwhile Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told CMU this morning that he’s “unbelievably excited” about the German launch. So that’s nice.

Elsewhere in Spotify news, and in a slightly amusing turn of events, EMI has apologised for accidentally uploading albums from metal indie Century Media onto the streaming platform, despite Century pulling all its content from the service last summer declaring that “in its present shape and form Spotify is not the way forward”.

EMI handles Century’s distribution and uploaded the albums to Spotify by mistake. When metal blog Metal Sucks noticed, the major told them: “We accidentally delivered a number of albums by Century artists to Spotify. Which is where you saw them. As soon as we realised our mistake, we immediately notified Spotify, and the titles were removed from the system. We’re obviously embarrassed that this happened, and we’ve taken steps to make sure it can’t happen again. And we’re very sorry to Century and its artists for the trouble we’ve caused”.