Saturday, 16 April 2011

I Know It's Over, But It Never Really Began: Spotify Free

The party's finally over, then. Anyone firing up Spotify today will have been directed to an 'important announcement' about the future of Spotify. They try to put the usual positive spin on it, mentioning how great it is that we've all embraced Spotify as tool for listening to and discovery of music, how it's helping fight piracy, etc, etc.
"...So it’s vital that we continue offering an on-demand free service to you and millions more like you, but to make that possible we have to put some limits in place going forward."
Long PR story short: as of the first of May, Spotify Free will be limited to 10 hours per month, individual tracks limited to five free listens. Which Spotify try to say won't matter, because their research shows people use Spotify to discover new music. Which is all well and good, and justifies the '5 free listens' model. And 10 hours, they point out, is 20 albums anyway!

...Per month. Because who listens to more than 20 albums/200 songs in a month, eh?



Anyone who followed last week's Music Diary can see that I rely almost entirely on Spotify for my music listening. Since its features exploded this time last year, it is the only piece of music software I ever use. The announcement refers to users "giving up on piracy", and it being "exactly what we hoped would happen".

Full disclosure time: Spotify genuinely is what killed a lifetime habit of heavy music piracy for me. I haven't illegally downloaded anything for well over a year, and my hard-drive is free of ill-gotten MP3s. I know, I know, I'm a saint. But save your rosaries: with this change, for me, piracy has become a lot more attractive as an option.

...I'm being idealistic again. I know that. Whenever I interviewed bands and threw a Spotify question in, they seemed sceptical. We're not seeing any money from it, was the consensus. No-one really seemed to understand Spotify's business model. And so the party had to end. But that never seems to make the hangover any easier, does it?

1 comment:

Dan Stoker said...

alright mandem

this was the situation (or very similar) in Canada (God, STOP talking about Canada Dan). At least among people I knew our age, far fewer people used it there than here. It might seem like I'm stating the obvious, but I do think Spotify will certainly see a decrease in the volume (is that kind of a pun?) of listeners. But I do Kind of hope more bands will see more money from this model- do you know whether this has been the case in other countries where this process has already happened?

Is there any way to have a subscription on more than one machine? as in can we have a house subscription- my limited knowledge suggests we have the same IP address is this even true?

About Me

My photo
London, United Kingdom
Videogames, film, music, comics: feed them into the Alex-Spencer machine and out come neat little articles. Like the ones you're looking at here.