Spotify: that’s actually the origin of the Spotify moniker, which helps you “spot” and “identify” songs you like. Buying music is out and streaming it is in. Spotify allows subscribers to have instant access to millions of songs for the cost of $10 a month, and if you’re a student they offer a student discount of $5 a month (Don’t make me graduate). There is also a free version but you’ll have to listen to commercials and can’t choose what song you want to listen to on mobile, only on PC.
Spotify was launched in 2008, and was the first of its kind. You might think oh there was Pandroa before Spotify, but it is so different in so many ways. Spotify essentially lets you listen to 30 million tracks, every song you’ve ever wanted to listen to besides Yellow Submarine and any other Beatles song. You can choose which song you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, without even using data with it’s download feature.
Spotify allows you to follow people which means they can follow you back. You can also follow artists, and even people’s public playlists (feel free to follow my fire playlist).
Discovering new music has never been easier with Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist, or Top 50. They also create playlists for you like these:
Spotify not only allows you to pick and play individual tracks, you can add them to personalized playlists which you can share with your friends. Spotify also offers share options for Facebook and Twitter so you can let your friends know what you’re listening at all times.
Spotify is most popularly used as an app on smartphones but is also accessible by tablet, PC, and even television-connected set top boxes (including game consoles). There are different capabilities on all of these platforms, but each are centered around streaming music. For example, on the PC version of Spotify you are able to see who you follow and what they are listening to at the same time you have it open.
Spotify reaches 58 countries worldwide and has 60 million active users. From a communication standpoint, that’s pretty incredible in terms of streaming music. 60 million people are able to access whatever song they want essentially whenever they want. They also have stations and podcasts for you to listen to as well as local files from your device so you never have to miss a song that you like.
Here is an example of your browsing options on Spotify on your computer :
Here is an example of your browsing options on Spotify on your smartphone:
Spotify is the first music streaming system to allow you to listen to any music you choose offline. Spotify Premium, allows you to download music to the app so it’s available to play even without an internet connection. You can have up to 3,333 songs available for offline listening, on a maximum of 3 different devices.
One feature that I love is how you are able to add songs to your queue. The Play Queue lets you build the queue of songs you want to hear as you go about your day or night. Consider it a temporary playlist. I tend to use this option before I drive so I don’t have to distract myself at the wheel by changing the song. On a PC just hit the “…” and “Add to Queue”.
On your cellphone hit the “…” and get this screen and hit “Add to Up Next”:
Spotify versus Pandora
Spotify is a technical innovation of its time. Before Spotify the most popular streaming system (aside from iTunes) was Pandora. Pandora is a radio streaming service that allows users to create a “radio station” based on artists, songs, or genres that they already like. Pandora then finds songs that are similar musically by using their Music Genome Project. Pandora was a great resource for discovering new music that matched your taste, but Spotify allows users to share and follow music that they already love while still allowing the user to discover new music through the browse section. Spotify would seem like the underdog, but Pandora only has 3.5 million paying customers.
Spotify versus Apple Music
A lot of people would agree that Spotify’s layout and interface is similar to that of iTunes, letting you browse music by artist, album, song name, genre, record label or playlist. You can also locate artists and songs through keyword searches. Apple Music came out in 2015, 7 years after Spotify. Spotify was truly the first of it’s kind. You could argue that Apple Music copied Spotify down to the price and student discount. They do however offer a family account with up to six users for only $15 a month. Apple Music does not have a free ad-supported tier (Source).
Other streaming services that are available are new are Soundcloud and TIDAL. These are definitely gaining some traction, but they’re not nearly as popular as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. Streaming music is on the rise. Today we are used to having everything at the touch of our fingertips and Spotify is no exception. As consumers and music listeners we want to listen to what we want when we want to, and Spotify allows for us to do that. I can’t imagine what music streaming technology will come out next, or even what Spotify will come out with next.
Pro tips: Here’s a fun video for the more avid Spotify user.