Editorial: Why you should care about Spotify
Welcome to the future Astronauts, where streaming is dominant and downloading is a thing of the past. Unless you’ve been living under a space rock, you’ve heard of Swedish innovation Spotify, a subscription-based streaming platform that is slowly but surely revolutionizing the music industry. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the new way of music consumption, imagine having full access to an extensive music catalogue for free ($10/mo for premium) that allows you to support your favorite artist while you listen. The service also allows you to categorize your music into cohesive, continually updated playlists, which are being coined as the “album of the future.” Clever, right?
So why does Spotify matter? As you most likely know, most music fans in our generation learned how to pirate music at a young age. This has caused music industry profits to decline at a rapid pace leaving labels with little resources to sign new acts or promote an eclectic range of musical talent. Spotify has essentially found a way to monetize our generation’s music consumption habits and grow the industry as a result. 91% of Sweden’s digital income now comes from Spotify, growing the industry by 13.5%. This marks a return to a level last seen in 2005 leaving the Swedish music industry as one of the healthiest in the world – a big reason why we are inundated with Swedish music as of late. Worldwide growth increased by 0.2% in 2012, the first rise since 1999 which is commonly attributed to streaming.
What does this mean for me the consumer?
Using Spotify as an alternative to illegally downloading your mp3s will help out your favorite artists and labels re-invest that revenue created to provide you with more quality music. Spotify is essentially a social app as well. It gives you the option to follow your musically inclined friends and artists to view what they are listening to at the moment. To help bring back the nostalgic feelings of personalized mixtapes or burned CDs, Spotify allows you to create playlists and share with friends. Best part is, you can access your favorite playlists offline through mobile if you have a premium subscription. Need help getting started? Find playlists created by Dancing Astronaut editors here.
What does this mean for my favorite artists?
It’s difficult to ignore the negative press generated by a number of artists on the “pennies” they receive as compensation. It’s important to remember that as Spotify grows, the revenue given back to artists will grow. Since Spotify is still in a growth phase, it still needs to attract more users to provide large amounts of compensation. To help you understand the model, Spotify pays the record labels based on percentage of streams, who then pay the artists based on negotiated contracts. Record labels are therefore responsible for paying their artists fairly.
I thought Spotify only had a limited selection of music?
You would be surprised as to how much underground music you can find through Spotify’s catalogue. As Spotify grows, so does its catalogue. Don’t believe me? Check out Ultra Music’s Deep House Tech House Warehouse playlist or Filtr’s Dancefloor Hits, Deep House or Nu Disco playlists.
How can I join Spotify?
Spotify currently has three different price tiers available to its consumers. The first model is free and is supported by banner and audio ads. $4.99/month give you unlimited desktop streaming uninterrupted by ads, while premium service costs $9.99/month and offers unlimited service across all platforms – mobile and desktop. Premium also offers a higher bit rate and an option to listen to playlists offline. For more tips and tricks check out this Mashable post here.