Saturday, September 17, 2016

Thoughts on Music Streaming Services Particularly Spotify and Its Effectiveness

The case: Why would anyone pay for music streaming services when renting music means after your subscription is up you don’t own the music?
Deeper considerations. First off I’ll start of by saying what kinds of people are drawn to services like Spotify and every other service where music streaming is the central offering. These people are college students, maybe other students not just in college, and finally music aficionados. While originally I thought that these mere three demographics or two depending on how you look at it are a small portion of the bigger population it should be noted that not everyone places the same value on music. I have a mother who doesn’t care for music in the least and as such I am sure there are people who don’t care about music or take an interest much in it. So from the beginning seen like this the music industry’s focus should be on those who care about the music industry, the musicians/singers, and or music itself.
The scales are this: #1-People who have no interest in music. #2Most are those who are in-between. They like music just fine but have no need to purchase music or seek it out, although occasionally may be hit with the need.#3-And then the music aficionados. Music aficionados consist of students whether college or not and those who have a rooted interest in music.These two types consume music a lot. Students because they have to keep up with the latest music fads or whatever else others are listening to. While those with a vested interest in music who are the true music aficionados do it because they love looking into what musicians out there are doing.
While it may appear grim it isn’t. I suspect the music industry has always made money from those who care about music the most. Even so, I think it might still be necessary to leave CD options available for those who are in-between with their interest in music.
As such it might be that this small demographic outlined above might be the ones apt to care at all about the music industry.  They are individuals that have some small measure of remorse or maybe all of it to want to support the industry thereby trying to curb their music listening appetites and buying music streaming subscriptions. Which is good for them since if they bought a subscription as soon as they are hit with a need to listen to music that they want then and there they won’t have to go through illegal means somewhere online, but instead utilize their subscription.
Another benefit for a music listener who takes advantage of music streaming services would be that they get to sample a full album, thereby eliminating useless albums that they wouldn’t want to have to spend time or money on. This is crucial because if that music listener is also a music appreciator and loves physically buying CDs they would want to own an album or songs they liked from listening on Spotify.
So it is here that Spotify could be useful. The only thing is for Spotify to be truly effective they need to add all the music catalogue of the world. Music from every artist imaginable because it only makes sense, music listeners, should be able to have access to everything since if they didn’t bother with a music streaming service in the first place they could find all of it online somewhere. See?
And another thing where they need to improve to become more effective is to increase the music discovery capability. As it stands, Spotify only offers modest music discovery benefits.
Yes. While I concede that Spotify has its benefits one has to keep on Spotify’s case. They need to further increase as much music on their service and allow downloadable songs (even if imposing some type of download restriction for 5 songs a day) and afterwards allow you to keep them. That way this can be seen as a sign of good faith between the company/labels/artists and listeners of music. It is only when this happens that more will slowly adapt this into their regular habits.
All this comes on me trying to investigate if there is any merit in music streaming services which led me to try Spotify Premium.
*I chose Spotify because it is the most talked about service when it comes to music streaming. So congrats Spotify at the least you’re making a splash.*
Positives of the actual service
  • Great sound quality. Music when listened really resonates and overall sounds rich.
  • Design and layout of the site is very appealing and actually provides a pleasant atmosphere for listening to music.
  • Spotify offers music listeners stats of those who most listen to an act. This is fun because it allows you to see where the fans of your favorite musician are coming from. Insights are quite handy.
  • Modest music discovery features. Can’t help but believe there could be more done? Like maybe finding key people with good taste in music or who could individually curate music for music listeners who use Spotify? Probably wishful thinking. I mean as a person who occasionally gets into music even I see how discovering music might be the whole problem that the music industry might really have. And due to this many music listeners not finding what they truly seek, end up becoming complacent and not having an interest in actively searching for music. Seen like this, I guess, Spotify cannot entirely be blamed. As it stands music discovery is tricky, especially taking into account people’s personal music tastes.
  • Details on music downloads need to be made more clear and in general music downloading should be given free reign for the most part. Like I brought up before.

That said. There are a few limitations that musicians, singers, and labels should keep in mind. In terms of available services, Spotify, is best for those who have a bigger interest in music only and who for whatever reason may not want to take an interest in using Amazon services. This is very important because if I am being honest Amazon Prime seems like a more appealing option flat out especially with them now rolling out monthly Amazon Prime subscriptions which include Amazon Prime Music if you buy for $10.99 a month. With this you have access to a movie watching catalogue, the music catalogue, and free shipping on various items you could possibly want. And let me tell you Amazon’s services are both appealing and offer tons of music.
Spotify further loses its edge when you consider Soundcloud a service I have much higher hope for because with it you can listen to music much like Spotify but also upload your own tracks for podcasts, audio book reviews, and other audio creations. The thing is Soundcloud has a limit on the amount you can upload and after a while you have to subscribe to paid options. Due to this if someone is an audio creator and avid music listener he or she might consider Soundcloud over Spotify. So really while Spotify does have competition here I think it is merely a case of different services for different people. Spotify still retains mild edge since there are some people only interested in music and that is all.
Time for some end to end thoughts? While originally I wasn’t convinced Spotify could succeed in giving value back to the music industry, I was wrong.
Yes. I think it is quite possible that Spotify could help the music industry as well as Amazon Prime paired up with Amazon Prime Music, and Soundcloud. They just all have subtle, different things they offer for users.


Spotify icon

Spotify was founded for two reasons: to bring all the music in the world to all the world’s music fans in a fun, easy and affordable way – and to create real value for the music industry again, including labels, publishers and the terrific songwriters and artists who create and perform the music we love.

This article first appeared on Those Singularities in Music. A music blog.

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