Google tried to buy music giant Spotify

Reports say Google wouldn't pay Spotify's steep asking price

Google reportedly tried to buy popular music streaming service Spotify late last year, but the talks broke down and the deal didn't go through.

Several stumbling blocks, including the high price Spotify executives were asking, sunk the deal, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page also reportedly stymied the acquisition with a lack of enthusiasm for subscription entertainment services.

Both Spotify and Google declined to comment.

The reports of Google going after Spotify come a few weeks after Google confirmed it was acquiring Songza, another music streaming service. Neither company would disclose financial details, although other reports put the price tag at around $39 million.

Songza, a free app available for iPhones and Android, offers a variety of playlists based on what the user is doing, such as waking up, exercising, working in the office or cooking with friends. Music lists also can be based on genres and musical eras.

Spotify, based in Sweden, is a bigger and more well-known service.

Launched in 2008, Spotify reported in May that it had reached two milestones -- 10 million paying subscribers and more than 40 million active users. Spotify also noted that users have created more than 1.5 billion playlists, collectively creating or updating more than 5 million playlists each day.

Apple, a major player in the music industry with the iPod and the ubiquitous iTunes, announced in May that it had acquired Beats Music, a subscription-based online music streaming service.

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said he wasn't surprised that Google would go after Spotify and continue its competition in the music industry with Apple.

"Obviously Google finds value in it, so I was a little surprised they didn't get it done," he added. "I think they should have coughed up the money, though, as Google is way behind Apple in music."

Music is a huge anchor application, according to Kerravala. "It's something that's pervasive across all generations," he said. "It's an application that draws people to the platform, so the service provider with the best music service is the one that many consumers gravitate to."

This article, Google tried to buy music giant Spotify, was originally published at

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is

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