On April 1, 2021, a rumor circulated online that billionaire rapper Kanye West bought Spotify, a popular music streaming platform with 155 million subscribers globally.
The claim appeared to have originated with an article published by Thissongissick (TSIS), an online blog dedicated to music news.
“It’s official: As of today, the fashion and music mogul has just acquired the ever-popular audio streaming platform, Spotify,” wrote the website. “Something big like this isn’t unpredictable for West, but people are curious about his intentions for buying out Spotify.”
The article also claimed that the billionaire rapper was going to delete all songs but his own — a claim that sparked concern among some of the platform’s 345 million active monthly users.
Snopes contacted TSIS and Spotify for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication. Even so, we should note that the article was published on April Fools' Day, and news of the buyout did not appear in any other reputable news publications. And a look through the Spotify news releases through April 2 did not reveal an announcement that marked the alleged buyout.
As such, we rate this claim “False.”
According to a statement released by Spotify on March 18, founder Daniel Ek was still the platform’s CEO and had been overseeing the audio-streaming subscription service since it was launched in 2006.
Spotify is headquartered and legally domiciled in Sweden, and because it is a foreign company, it is not required to disclose the same information as U.S. firms concerning share ownership, reported the financial website Investopedia on Jan. 7. The site noted that the top institutional shareholders of Spotify include Ek, as well as Sven Hans Martin Lorentzon, Baillie Gifford & Co., Morgan Stanley, Tencent Holdings Ltd., and T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. Still, no sign of West.
And though the Grammy-award-winning musician is indeed a billionaire (though not the richest Black man in American history), his personal fortune caps in around $1.8 billion. As of April 1, Spotify had a market cap valuation of over $52 billion, reported the investment company YCharts.
Snopes staff also checked their own Spotify accounts, and found that the usual subscriptions, followers, and playlists were exactly as they should be.