Spotify to branch out beyond the normal subscription/ad based music streaming business?

by Mike
Posted February 5th, 2010 at 10:34 am

Make no mistake about it, I love Spotify. Thankfully I got an opportunity to sample it about a month back for about 5 minutes and was instantly hooked. Living in the US however, I’m heartbroken that I can’t access it. It’s almost gotten to the point of searching YouTube for Spotify videos and living vicariously through the fortunate others outside of the US and it’s ancient (read: bullshit) copyright laws. Today however, my longing for the UK based startup is going no where but up.

An article on TechDirt today was focusing on a new and exciting development that Spotify is looking at moving towards. Instead of the normal “9 to 5″ business model that everyone else in the business uses — subscription or ad-based — Spotify is looking to branch out and let the musicians themselves try out new and interesting business models. It’s pretty much a “whatever floats your boat free for all”.

From Spotify CEO Daniel Ek:

“We want a platform where we can [allow] lots and lots of experimentation. We don’t know what will work for an individual artist. Some will benefit from scarcity. Some will benefit from it being widely available, even free. They might make their money by giving away all their music for free … In the best of world, Spotify will become the platform where you manage your music and because you do that, we will figure out what kinds of offerings you’re interested in. For certain types of artists, you might be interested in something unique. You might do a meet-and-greet. It might be that you want it on vinyl because it feels better. Or just go and see the show. Or have the merchandise.”

Moving this direction is good for everyone except the traditional record label. Having the musician dictate how and what to do with their work and art is a monumental achievement if Spotify can get US labels to get on board. If they don’t, the swim up stream will be much, much harder.

In the end, my real wish is to see the intelligent and talented musicians realize that in order to make good music, connect with your fans, and ultimately sell the most money means working both as a musician and also managing your success instead of having some “out for their own agenda record label” taking care of everything.

As Mike on TechDirt notes, it’s a perfect fit for his ingenious CwF + RtB slogan and ideology.

(Connect with Fans (CwF) and give them a Reason to Buy (RtB). CwF+RtB=$$$)

So here I sit, looking on at the exciting world of music and sharing music, wishing I could enjoy a piece of that pie. Hopefully soon, that little glean in my eye will come true and my never ending journey to experience as much music as possible can continue…


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