Spotify – digital music

Spotify is the latest music site offering access to music from labels including: Universal, SEMI, EMI, Warner Music, Merlin, The Orchard and Bonnier Amigo. It gives free access to streamed music.

First you need to get your hands on a private invite whilst it is in the beta phase (just ask if you want one).  But I do hear they are soon going to make people pay £9.99 per month.  Not a bad amount if it really offers you advantages of what is already out there.  So what advantages does it offer?

  • Streamed content (at higher quality than Youtube)
  • Jukebox facility.  You can choose your tracks, create playlists and play to your hearts content, as long as there is an internet connection.  Unlike Youtube.
  • Playlists you can share simply by emailing a HTTP address – which others can also add too – UG playlists.  Nice.  ‘My best 80’s film track’ anyone?
  • Clean easy to user itunes type interface
  • You don’t have to wait for downloads (or fill up your hard drive)
  • You can link it to your Last.fm account

So what are the disadvantages?

  • Competition from Last.fm as a free service provider – and in so much as people are naturally resistant to change – ‘Uff, yet another service to figure out.  Why?’….
  • Talk of paid subscription
  • No iphone app
  • Not a web app
  • Not much in the way of genius type functionality i.e suggesting tracks you might like
  • No e-commerce

An important step in the online social music networks and indeed in how music is distributed and discovered.  However it can always be improved.

The best improvement in the immediate term is to keep it free.  And now they are ad serving could this be possible? If they then combine e-commerce with the site and other improvements, it could provide a significant change in the digital music model and very appealing way forward for music labels.

I wonder if itunes will copy this model or if Apple will even buy them?  I wonder if Youtube will create a jukebox type function?

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