Monday, September 18, 2017

Tencent isn’t buying Spotify, but wanted to | UNLIMITED | CMU


China’s Tencent isn’t buying Spotify. That’s today’s news. I’m also not buying Spotify. Though that’s not news, because I never offered to buy it.

Actually, I did recently get half way through writing an email to Daniel Ek offering to take the streaming service off his hands. But then CMU’s Andy Malt distracted me by seeking feedback on the new theme tune he’s making for the CMU Podcast, which currently goes beep, beep, boop, beep, woo, do dah do, woosh. So that’s something to look forward to. Even if it does mean Ek won’t get to offload Spotify in return for the big jar of five pence pieces I keep tripping over in my flat. And the jar itself is worth a pound!

However, Chinese web giant Tencent seemingly did get its email off to Team Spotify confirming it was interested in buying the streaming firm, or at least so says TechCrunch.

Tencent, of course, has become a significant player in the rapidly emerging streaming music market in China, as both a distributor of content and an operator of streaming services, in particular QQ Music. It’s also known the web firm has musical ambitions beyond its home country, and it is already active in other territories via a service called Joox. A purchase of Spotify would have transformed it into a global digital music player over night.

But, say TechCrunch’s sources, when Tencent approached Spotify to float the idea of an acquisition earlier this year, execs at the latter ultimately declined the offer. It’s not quite clear whether there was an immediate knock back from Spotify HQ – which is busy prepping its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, of course – or whether any initial talks did in fact take place. Neither companies are commenting on their conversations.

Which is annoying. Because if the deal breaker was the size of Tencent’s five pence piece jar, then I’d know it was worth finishing my email to Ek, because mine’s quite a big jar. Still, I’m too busy trying to persuade Malt to remove the ‘woosh’ to care at the moment. The CMU Podcast will be back soon by the way. That’s the real news today.


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