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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek gives a candid take on his company’s battle with Apple Music

Published Feb 22nd, 2016 11:15PM EST

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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently sat down for a Q&A session on Quora where the founder of the popular music streaming service answered a wide array of questions from users. For anyone who has followed the company closely, one of the reasons why it’s so beloved is that Ek and his team are bonafide music lovers who care just as much about delivering a superb listening and user experience as they do about the bottom line. In conjunction with this, Ek has historically been rather candid and upfront about most issues pertaining to Spotify.

That being the case, Ek’s Quora session was, as you might expect, refreshingly honest and informative.

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For instance, one of the posed questions focused on what Spotify is planning to do to compete with the likes of tech giants like Apple and Google who are now interested in the music streaming space.

I believe in focus. All of the companies you mention have music as a hobby, a very small part of their overall business. We do one thing and try to do it really well. This means we have a company 100% dedicated to finding the right content, personalizing it for you and serving it up with partners who are specialized in what they do. The big platform companies don’t generally like partnering. We do. This opens up lots of doors. To put it another way, we are really focused on delivering the best possible music experience you can find. I’m not saying we don’t think about the competition – of course we do, it would be crazy not to. But we think about them more in terms of how to make Spotfy so easy, so fun, and so relevant for our users that whether you wait on lines for every new Apple device, get your groceries from Amazon Prime, or use every Google mail and workplace app, you still want to listen to music on Spotify because it’s the best experience there is.

Another interesting question asked what decisions Spotify made early-on that would later prove helpful in the company’s success. To this question, Ek responded that Spotify made the strategic decision to launch the service in a “narrow market” – Sweden. As a result, Ek intimated that the company was able to hash out usability issues without having to worry about major blowback similar to what Apple experienced last summer with Apple Music.

“We spent an insane amount of time focusing on latency,” Ek explained, “when no one cared, because we were hell-bent on making it feel like you had all the world’s music on your hard drive. Obsessing over small details can sometimes make all the difference.”

The entire question and answer series is well worth checking out in its entirety via the source link below. For those interested in either the technical or business aspects of music streaming, Ek is an open book and always revealing.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.