During a panel discussion at SXSW for Downloaded, an upcoming VH1 documentary, Napster co-founder Sean Parker had some less than kind words for Apple's iTunes software, tellin the audience that Spotify will overtake it within two years.
Joined by his Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning and Downloaded director Alex Winter, Parker spoke frankly about his thoughts on the current state of the digital music industry. In his view, Spotify, the popular streaming service in which he invested $15 million, is doing the best job of putting money into record company coffers:
"Spotify is returning a HUGE amount of money [to the record labels]. If we continue growing at our current rate in terms of subscriptions and downloads, we’ll overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.”
He didn't stop there. Parker then went on to say that he's surprised at how slow the iTunes Store is compared even to Napster:
"Even the iTunes store, to this day, is SO SLOW [compared to Napster]. I’m amazed. It’s like this embedded website within their client that when you click buy [makes spinning motion with his hands]"
Spotify, which was launched in 2008 in Sweden and made available in the U.S. in July of last year, has an estimated 13 million users worldwide with 2.5 million of them paying for a monthly subscription. For comparison purposes, as of October, 2011, 16 billion songs have been downloaded from Apple's iTunes Store, which was launched in April of 2003.