And Finally

Zuckerberg and Parker row over Spotify sign-up policies, allegedly

By | Published on Monday 17 October 2011


According to the New York Post, Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker recently had a rather public alcohol-fuelled argument in a West Hollywood club. But what were Facebook founder Zuckerberg and Parker, Napster co-founder and an early advisor to the social network, fighting about? The move by Spotify to force new users to sign up via their Facebook accounts, obviously.

As previously reported, there was something of a backlash among some long-term Spotify users when the streaming music service announced that, as part of its new partnership with the social media giant, all new subscribers – free or paying – would have to sign in using their Facebook login. The decision doesn’t actually affect existing users, but was still criticised by a very vocal minority, possibly because they feared the new policy might eventually be rolled out to existing Spotify customers.

There was speculation that the new rules regarding signing in were forced on Spotify by Facebook, as part of a deal that pushed the Swedish streaming platform to the fore when the social media firm announced technical innovations last month that allow content providers to hook into the social network more. And if the Post’s reports are true that was seemingly the case. Zuckerberg was arguing for the change, while Parker – now an advisor to Spotify too – was arguing against.

The Post cites a witness to the row as saying: “Sean argued that all Spotify users should not be forced to sign up for a Facebook account, but Mark wouldn’t budge. It was a full on screaming match outside the club, but stopped short at coming to blows. They then stormed off in different directions”.

While Facebook hasn’t commented on the report, a spokesman for Parker told the Post: “Most stories have a grain of truth. They were together at The Beverly, they did discuss Spotify and Facebook, but they did not have an argument. They have spoken several times since. Sean is looking forward to seeing Mark at a wedding this weekend”.

So that’s nice. As also previously reported, although Spotify suffered an online backlash after announcing its various Facebook tie-ups, the partnership does seem to have resulted in a flurry of new sign-ups for the streaming music service, both freemium and premium, especially in the US where the company now reportedly has a quarter of a million paying subscribers.