“A new world of free music is just a click away.” That is the motto of one of the new kids in the music industry, Spotify. Spotify is set out to change the way people listen to music by offering users on-demand access to over fifteen million songs, while making listening to them a more social and streamlined experience. With the rise in piracy, Spotify has the potential to save the music industry.
Spotify is, by far, the best music program available. Since its American debut about a year ago, it has continued to draw more and more users from iTunes. Before the release of Spotify, users were forced to pay $1.29 per song on iTunes or illegally download their music from torrent sites. Now, music fans can access the joy of Spotify for free, while musicians continue to be compensated.
The infrastructure of Spotify greatly resembles that of iTunes, and new users should become easily accustomed to it. Through the left sidebar, users can create playlists, search for their favorite songs, download new music discovery applications, and see tracks recently listened to by their friends. Users can find nearly any song in the history of mankind and add it to their playlist. In most cases, new albums are released on Spotify the day they appear on iTunes. Fans of any genre can find all the music they desire with ease.
With full Facebook support, users of Spotify can quickly discover what their friends are listening to and share their favorite music. Users have the option of posting listened songs to their Timeline and can view in real-time songs played by friends. In the “Top Lists”, users can even view the most popular songs in their area.
Spotify offers the most streamlined desktop music experience. Browsing music in its application is as fast as searching for a local file in iTunes. The first time Spotify is opened, all local music is imported automatically. When updates are available, Spotify automatically downloads them in the background. Spotify takes advantage of many features in both Mac OS and Windows, including the new full-screen mode in Lion.
Spotify greatly benefits consumers in the music industry, while allowing musicians to be compensated. Spotify is free to the public, but revenue is generated through the use of ads and side-banners, most of which are unobtrusive. For $4.99 a month, users can remove these ads. For $9.99 a month, listeners can access a mobile application available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and other platforms. This app allows offline listening and many of the features of the desktop application. Playlists saved on the desktop app appear seamlessly on mobile devices.
In the past year, Spotify has managed to change music forever. It reflects a change in the entertainment industry, where consumers wish to be able to conveniently access a large database of media at a low price. Because of its ease of use, it has drawn many users from piracy and will, in the end, benefit the music industry as a whole. Spotify continues to succeed where iTunes failed: making music a social experience that brings people together.