A report out today thanks to the Wall Street Journal says that Google tried to buy Spotify late last year. The person familiar with the matter says that talks fell through for a variety of reasons, but a big one was that the company was asking a very high price in order to be bought out. Also, the person says that Larry Page isn’t quite fond of subscription services in general, and it doesn’t seem that helped negotiations much.
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According to the report, Susan Wojcicki, the current CEO at YouTube, was an avid supporter of the acquisition. But despite her support, the music streaming service was valued at upwards of $4 billion, and Spotify was asking for as much as $10 billion in order to be sold. Google has struggled to catch up to rival companies such as Apple in the realm of music, but is definitely pursuing it evidenced by its recent purchase of Songza and pushes via Google Play.
Reports say that Google is planning to finally launch a YouTube-based music subscription service intended to directly compete with Spotify, and a purchase of the service under Wojcicki would have definitely help jump start it. But if it ever manages to launch, it will actually be Google’s second entry into the music subscription space — following Google Play Music All Access.
Update: According to Re/Code’s many sources, there were never any talks at all between the two companies.
According to multiple (and I just dialed my little fingers off) sources at both companies, there have been no formal nor informal talks between the companies about an acquisition, directly or indirectly. CEO Daniel Ek has indeed met with various Google execs about commercial deals at YouTube, Google Play and Android.
“There has not been a single conversation about Google’s interest between the two,” said one source. “There was never a price, never a negotiation, never anything.”