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First things first: if you haven’t at least tried out Spotify yet, go here to get it.
So as part of the not-so-exclusive Klout perk, I was given access to Spotify’s free, unlimited service. It’s awesome. The gist of it is this: for FREE (a magical word with super powers; if you disagree please read The Cost of Free chapter of Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational) you get access to over 13 million songs that you can stream on your computer. Also, it accesses your music files and pulls them into the program so you can create playlists containing your own music, and music you don’t currently have. The one capability missing: if you search a song they don’t have…it’s not possible for someone to add it to Spotify and have it be available from then on. Hopefully they make this doable at some point.
Spotify also has one of the most useful, not to mention coolest, features of any music program I’ve seen yet: Collaborative Playlists (scroll down to read about them). The short story is that you can create a playlist that you then open to anyone for editing. You can share the link to the playlist, and then others can add songs. It’s the ultimate party tool, and a great way to get everyone’s input; a type of social jukebox.
So what does the addition of Spotify to the music service competition mean for other companies in the US? It means, watch out. There’s are reasons this service is so widely praised in Europe. But for now all I heard about it Pandora and similar service to that needing to watch out. I say Spotify has enough oomph to compete with the biggest player of them all, iTunes. iTunes is the juggernaut of the music industry, but it doesn’t do streaming. Based on my personal experience since installing Spotify, I haven’t opened iTunes once, except to update my iPod. I can only speak to myself, but I know Apple won’t want to be hearing things like that. While they are wildly successful they also still have to compete with torrenting, and other forms of music pirating. Now there’s a free service that streams any music one would want hanging out in their playground that is an easy, and legal, way to listen to said music, whenever you want.
And for those who wish, you can pay $10/month and you have access to all of those songs on your mobile phone, eliminating the need for an iPod in the first place. The cheapest iPod with full functionality on the market right now is the iPod Nano for $150. That’s one year and three months of streaming music from millions of songs, and that doesn’t include the costs of all the songs you would have (hopefully) purchased to fill the iPod. That’s a sweet deal from Spotify.
Spotify will inevitably take sales away from iTunes. A service as hyped as they are, and one that live up to the hype in my opinion, is bound to succeed here in the US of A. I don’t think iTunes should be reacting just yet (though I can see them developing a competing service, and am pretty sure I’ve read somewhere about them trying to get a good streaming service out there), but they need to be looking over their shoulder. Spotify is here to stay, and I am hopping along for the ride.
What do you think of Spotify? Have you had a chance to use it much yet?