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August 22, 2014

How Google Failed at Acquiring Spotify

Photo Credit: Spotify by Blixt Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

With all the Comic-Con news, film trailers releasing, and new albums coming out, you may have seen this interesting piece of news: apparently Google wanted to buy out the music app many know as Spotify, yet Google failed. Google? Google failed? Since when does Google fail? Many people are wondering the same thing. Was Spotify too pricey? Was Google not really interested? Did Google really fail or do people just think they did?

Let’s take a look at how and why Google failed, as well as what it could mean for the future of Spotify and Google.

What Is Spotify?

If you are not the type to use the latest greatest thing on the Internet, you may have ignored the random posts popping up in your Facebook timeline. You have probably seen this program, but just ignored it as yet another Facebook game. Well, Spotify is no game and it is actually quite useful. It allows people to listen to full albums or to craft playlists of their favorite songs. People can craft multiple playlists of their own, follow their friend’s or other’s lists, and can even set up collaboration lists where other individuals can add favorite songs, as well. While many use this service to listen to the latest pop album, some people have found that they greatly enjoy listening to film scores they’ve yet to purchase or find some favorite oldies they’ve long since lost.

Once someone has gotten used to Spotify, he or she can then start discovering new artists and music. People can even listen to current popular albums without ever needing to purchase them. Neat, isn’t it? Spotify has a great following, but it also has quite a few artists who are against music streaming because they do not get the profit they need to pay back up musicians or other individuals who help make an album. However, many do realize this is the way music is going, whether they are fans of it or not. Whatever the case may be, it is fact that fans currently love getting to listen to their favorite albums or new albums they would not normally purchase simply by downloading this app on their computers. If you want to learn more about how to use Spotify, Mashable offers a great beginner’s guide on how to use this service.

Why Did Google Want Spotify?

Well, the obvious reason is one that the Guardian points out; it is the largest streaming music subscription service out there right now. Of course, people will point out that YouTube is the largest streaming service, where people can watch music videos on the website. However, Spotify allows people to listen to their chosen music on their own, with their own lists, and allows people to subscribe for benefits such as no ads. There are approximately 40 million users with an additional 10 million who pay for these ad-free services. The same article points out that Google has been in the market for a streaming service for quite some time now, as well. Spotify does have a decent record of good relationships with multiple artists, even if some are outspoken about on-demand streaming services.

There are many reasons why Google wanted this application and service, all of which make perfect sense when it comes to one large company acquiring another. Unfortunately for Google, Spotify is still doing quite well and does not have any need of a savior for their service, which is why many companies merge with larger ones.

Was Google Really Going To Buy It?

Now, this is tricky for many people. Some do not believe Google was really going to buy Spotify, but that they were just looking at the possibility of purchasing the music streaming service. The Guardian article points out that Google has recently acquired other streaming services, all of which are different from Spotify. One of these services was that of Songza. This leads many to think that while Spotify was attractive to Google, it was not necessarily something the company was going to buy right now. With all of the available research though, many do believe Google wanted to buy this service eventually, because, in reality, it would greatly benefit Google and help the company grow even more.

How Did The Almighty Google Fail?

As we stated earlier, Spotify is not in the position of needing a large company savior yet. It is still doing quite well and growing in popularity. Many companies will not merge with others when things are going well because most mergers are seen as ways to save one company and improve another. Google went into talks with Spotify to discuss what each side was expecting if Google did buy the company, but apparently the talks didn’t go as planned.

One of the main reasons many people think that Google failed to buy Spotify is because the price was too steep for the juggernaut, Google. However, many people feel like this has to be incorrect because Google sure does have quite enough to spend on acquiring the service, especially if you believe the rumored asking price of between $4 billion and $5 billion.

Should We Expect A Google-Spotify Collaboration At Some Point?

This is something that could quite possibly happen in the future. Some reports have shown that Google and Spotify were not only in talks for a possible buyout, but also to join forces and co-launch a service for those in the United States. It will benefit both greatly, especially with Google’s desire for a cloud-based song platform. Only time will tell if this happens, but it might be something everyone will enjoy and benefit from.

In Closing

This is an age-old story here in America and one that permeates most of the business world; one company wants to buy another, but something got in the way. Whatever the reason for Google failing, stories like this usually end with someone winning epically. Hopefully, this means that we all might one day benefit from a collaboration involving the almighty Google and the incredible music streaming service known as Spotify.


Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.