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The Sean Parker Effect

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Sean Parker’s character, which was played by Justin Timberlake, is without a doubt my favorite character in the ‘The Social Network.’ Reading and watching his interviews you can tell that he has mastered the art of story telling and he must have read Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is interesting to see how pivotal his role was in the initial stages of Facebook and I wonder if Facebook would have been what it is today without his help.

I first read about Sean Parker in the fall of 2000 while interning for a mortgage brokerage firm in Dallas, TX. It was a Time Magazine interview featuring his Napster Co-Founder, Shawn Fanning. At the time, I was first starting to get into the music industry and hearing about two teenagers who had the entire recording industry by the balls was addictive.

Fastforward to 2011, and Sean introduced the U.S. to Spotify which he said will pick up where Napster left of. At the F8 Conference last year, Facebook announced its music plans and Spotify instantly became the poster child for the social music movement. Playing second fiddle to the Sean Parker’s backed service were dozens of other companies like MOG, Turntable.FM and Rdio.

Is Spotify really that good? I guess that is a matter of opinion and I have yet to use a lot of the other social music services available today. What I do know is that Sean’s stake in Facebook gives Spotify an unfair advantage over every other social music service on the market, but when has business ever been fair. As a music lover I am in love with Spotify as an independent artist, eh.

As the 2012 begins Spotify has made a change from a streaming music service to a platform by opening up its API for developers to build applications upon. Some of the biggest brands in music such as Billboard and Rollingstone have already jumped onboard. As Spotify’s domination continues, other music services are forced to join the ‘MOB.” On the flip side, the huge disadvantage given to other social music services will force developers to come up with more unique products that push the envelope and help take music to an even higher level.