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The Successful Seduction Of Spotify

posted November 30, 2011, 9:59 am by Ben Oliver | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Music News | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Spotify

Spotify has forever changed the way we listen to music, but what exactly is it? Wikipedia probably sums it up best by describing it as a Swedish-founded, UK-headquartered DRM-based music streaming service. It originally started in 2008 and had staggering success in Europe before finally arriving in the United States. On 14 July 2011, Spotify launched its U.S. service, which was a major milestone after delays and years of negotiation with the four major record companies. Currently, the service in America has over 2.5 million paying subscribers — a 25% increase since September, when they began to let Facebook members share and stream music. More than 4 million Facebook users signed up for a Spotify account within six weeks of the service becoming available there, 500,000 of them paying $10 a month. It is currently available in 12 countries (not Canada yet), boasting a catalog of 15 million available songs.

So what exactly makes it so great? Spotify has been called legal file sharing for good reason. It combines the benefits of digital technology and social networking into the most fun and easy way to discover, listen and share music ever invented. What really sets it apart from the other streaming services is this ability to share with your friends and family, just by dragging and dropping. The mobile app for smart phones allows instant access to all of this music. iTunes Match is a bargain for $25 a year, but Apple has yet to learn how to integrate the social aspect of media. Their service Ping is an utter failure and should be an embarrassment to the tech giant. And unlike Rhapsody, it doesn’t take up memory or space on your device. There are related artists, so that you can discover new music like Pandora. It is hands down without doubt the absolute best way to explore new music. Imagine when someone mentions a band or song, and instantly being able to look it up on your smartphone. You can also see what artists your friends enjoy most, and share playlists. Another unique feature that stands out is the option and ability to merge your own personal music library with the software, in those rare instances you can’t find your favorites in their library.

One day in the near future, Spotify will be to digital music services what Google is to search. And after today, that will most likely be sooner rather than later. At  a press conference earlier today, CEO and founder Daniel Ek announced 16 new applications that will be integrated within the software, such as concert listings, record reviews, and lyrics.  This will enable music lovers to never have to leave the app.  Ek also said the company is adding more than 20,000 new tracks every day, despite 200 indie labels recently departing the service.  It’s so popular, in fact, that Ek said piracy has decreased by 25% since Spotify launched. If you haven’t yet tried it, what are you waiting for?

Finally, our site is based in Canada. What kind of site would we be if we didn’t offer a hack for our Canadian users to use this great feature? You can find workarounds here and here, good luck!

Update: They just announced today they now have over 3 million subscribers!


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