Spotify was launched in October 2008 in Sweden and has over 20 million active users today. It is a music streaming program available on all forms of devices. It uses a similar layout to iTunes however the music is streamed directly from the internet instead of purchasing the content. Therefore all the music is available instantaneously for free to all users but the music is only available to those with an internet connection. The program is initially free with a free 30 day trial period with an option to purchase the program for approximately €10 per month. Spotify is only available to users with a Facebook account and allows users to share the music they are listening to over Facebook.
The concept has proved successful seeing as over 20 million people have used the free trial and 5 million people are paying for the service. However, I must admit I will not be subscribing to the service after my free trial expires for several reasons.
1. I have briefly looked at using Spotify in the past as it was recommended to me by several of my friends. I was confused by the program at first glance and did not understand exactly how it worked or how I was supposed to use it. I therefore left it for another day. Recently I sat down and had a good look at this music streaming ‘phenomenon’. I registered for my free trial and was asked to share every song I listened to on Facebook. I denied this application. I seemed to be then locked out of using many of the features and was unable to remedy this. I was left with preset playlists that vaguely represented my music interests.
2. The interface is almost identical to iTunes for which I am a regular user and therefore thought I could navigate my way around the program. I was wrong. I had to resort to a Youtube guide to help my understand the complicated system. This only slightly helped. I am still left with radio channels that play a lot of music that I do not enjoy.
3. After being constantly badgered to purchase the premium package before I had even used my free trial I found out that, even though the premium package is expensive, I am limited to the amount of music I can listen to per month. So, from my point of view, I can pay Spotify to provide me with a limited amount of music of get unlimited music for free elsewhere online, like Youtube. Thanks but no thanks Spotify.
4. Ads. After every 5 songs or so we are forced to listen to a painstakingly long ad about how great Spotify is and how, if we give them more money we can have more music and no limits.
To be honest I don’t understand the hype surrounding Spotify and will definitely not be paying at the end of my free trial. I think I’ll just turn on the radio and listen to ads for free thanks.