Spotify is a music and video streaming app service. It offers more than 30 million songs from record labels and media companies. The service is available in different regions of the world such as the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and some Asian countries. It has not yet been launched in India.
Spotify was started in 2008 as a startup venture in Sweden by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. Initially, the service was by invitation only for the free accounts and open to all for purchasing premium accounts. Spotify was a big success when free registration was opened in the UK for its mobile service in 2009.
The service has reached over 500 million registered users around the world and is valued at over 8 billion dollars. As of 2016, Spotify has over 40 million paying subscribers.
Spotify Objective | Prime Focus
Spotify is providing a service aimed to counter-piracy losses for artists and give quality content to users. Relative to other competing services Spotify has exclusive rights to bands like Led Zeppelin, Metallica and Pink Floyd. The service has grown rapidly since its inception in the US and Europe and even though there has been criticism, there is strong potential to grow in the coming years.
Spotify works on a freemium business model, which means that the users can enjoy basic services for free and have to pay subscription charges to get additional features. Spotify engages artists and copyright holders by paying them royalties as per their music streams.
The company pays out 70% of its revenue to royalty payments. Spotify does not pay a fixed rate per play and after accounting for factors such as artist home country and individual royalty rates, it pays between $0.006 to $0.0084. Spotify also has a radio feature for users of both free and premium subscriptions. The app allows users to download 9,999 songs equally on 3 devices per account.
Spotify is supported by websites, blogs, and external applications. It also connects with Facebook and Twitter to notify users of new releases and connect with friends to share playlists.
Spotify New Features
1. Desktop App
Users can search for songs and add them to their playlist, they can listen to songs on shuffle mode with intermittent advertisements. Spotify initially gained popularity as a desktop app. It has a dark coloured interface which lets the album artwork stand out. It has a sleek and aesthetic design.
2. Your Music
This is part of the new features given by Spotify. It basically allows users to create their own libraries by clicking save on the albums they like. It helps users explore all the music as per their likings.
3. Web Player
This is a recent addition where users can access a web player if they cannot install the desktop app. It does not give all the features like on the app version but it has a more mature design compared to other online players. The users will still access their Your Music section with all their favourite lists. It’s somewhat like music streaming site. It does not have HTML 5 streaming therefore there can be a little stuttering in the play.
4. Mobile App
The mobile app serves best the users with a premium account where they can sync with offline music and listen to them without streaming. The apps have different ways of working as per the mobile OS but they all perform equally well.
5. Spotify Connect
With the popularity of wireless music. Spotify Connect allows streaming of music to speakers by having Spotify Connect in the speakers or linking them to a mobile device that has Spotify.
Accounts and Subscription Plans
Spotify model charges users per streaming and there is no one-off payment as in the case of a CD or online purchase, therefore users are more valuable. It offers 3 subscription types :
This is the basic version of the service. It has advertisements but still gives unlimited listening time and it is free of cost. It does not, however, give HD audio and offline play option. The advertisements are of different types – Audio Ads, Display Ads, Billboard Ads etc. The audio advertisements run for a maximum of 30 seconds.
It is free from advertisements. It provides unlimited listening time, mobile use, HD Audio and Offline play option. The cost of the plan per month is $ 9.99 in the US, £ 9.99 in the UK and € 9.99 in the rest of Europe. Some songs can be played at an enhanced bit rate of 320 kbps.
It contains the same features as the premium account only difference is that it can support up to 6 accounts per plan. The cost of the plan per month is $ 14.99 in the US, £ 14.99 in the UK and € 14.99 in the rest of Europe. Users can have a free trial of the premium account for 30 days.
Spotify is available on all major OS platforms such as – iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, Windows desktop, OS X, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Playstation3, Playstation4, WD TV and more.
The streams are given in two formats – q5 which is 160 kbps for the free service and q9 which is 320 kbps for the premium subscribers. Free storage space of 1GB is recommended on user devices.
Desktop versions are supported on Windows (XP onwards) and Mac OS X (10.5 onwards). Mobile apps are available on Android, Kindle, Windows, and iOS. Spotify provides free radio streaming for users having iPad and iPhone in the US. The premium users enjoy the full list of songs, stream music feature and offline mode.
Download Spotify App For iOS
Download Spotify App For Android
Spotify was first launched by invitation in Scandinavia, UK, France and Spain in 2009. With each year it spread to all parts of North and South America, Europe and parts of Asia. In some countries like Greece and Romania, the free service was not offered and users could only pay for premium accounts. In order to purchase a Spotify subscription, the user needs to have a Paypal account or a credit card.
Spotify still enjoys leadership position in the music streaming app domain. There are many other services catching up and Spotify will have to keep re-inventing and launching new features to keep their lead. The recent addition of new features has enhanced the app and is well accepted by users.