Three Things You Can Count on: Death, Taxes, Spotify's Arrogance

When we first wrote about Spotify’s arrogance there was at least some cause behind it. The company had built a beautiful online music service that early adopters were swooning over. The founders had invested a huge chunk of their own money in the company– something we always respect, especially in a category as dangerous as online music. And– so the company told us– they were about to launch in the US at any moment and nearing profitability.

So what if the company lied to us several times and exaggerated their success? Ambitious startups always stretch the truth right? And so what of all those reports of talks with potential partners– from MySpace to Facebook to Google– who were interested in helping bring Spotify to the US, but were also put off by the company’s arrogance?

A lot of our startup heros have an arrogant swagger: Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs. (Some would even venture to say Michael Arrington…) Arrogance may even be a good thing. A grounded, humble company would never think it could beat huge, well-funded competitors.

But here’s the thing: When you’re going to be this arrogant for this long, you have to, at some point, show something to back it up. Just read the comments on every Spotify post we’ve done over time to see how weary even the fans are getting of the endless promises of a US launch and the blase downplaying that the labels may have an issue with, oh, say, giving away music for free. And, yet, we get this Tweet today announcing the company’s impending world domination.

Let’s ignore for a moment how few people actually pay for the service in Europe. Spotify, how about a single US deal before you spike the football?