We normally shy away from celebrity gossip, but this one’s just too juicy to pass up.
According to the New York Post, which never shies away from stories like this, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker (Plaxo creator, Napster employee, and investor in Spotify and Facebook) parted ways angrily after a drunken spat outside The Beverly Hollywood nightclub earlier this month.
At issue: Facebook’s insistance that Spotify require new users to log in via Facebook — a feature that allows Spotify to send users’ listening activity to the social network, so that their friends can see it, ostensibly leading to further adoption of the unlimited on-demand music service.
On the flipside, the requirement also annoys people who would rather learn from their big brother’s record collection than have Big Brother publish what they listen to. (In fairness, Spotify updated its software after the initial backlash, making it easier to turn off Facebook scrobbling.)
According to the witness, ‘Sean argued that all Spotify users should not be forced to sign up for a Facebook account, but Mark wouldn’t budge. It was a full on screaming match outside the club, but stopped short at coming to blows. They then stormed off in different directions’ …
Another source said, ‘Sean gets very intense and can be loud. These guys have been through a lot together. They have passionate discussions and strong opinions. Their partnership has given Spotify a lot of subscribers.’
So far, Spotify has about 250,000 paying subscribers in the United States, a small fraction of Rhapsody/Napster‘s user base. However, Spotify launched here in July, while Rhapsody technically started all the way back in 1999. Meanwhile, Facebook + Spotify debuted less than a month ago.
The Post says Parker left a $5,000 tip at the Beverly before the argument. A spokesperson for Parker confirmed that the pair were at the Beverly talking about Facebook and Spotify, but denied that the argument took place.
Assuming the argument really did take place, Zuckerberg won. Spotify (like other apps including Turntable.fm) still requires a Facebook login.