Archive for: spotify

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

  • February 5, 2010 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…


3 UK announecs more Spotify bundles coming soon!

  • February 2, 2010 9:57 am

Fancy the streaming way of life and happen to live in the UK? Good news: the infant carrier, “3″, has announced that after the rather popular success of the HTC Hero/Spotify bundle, more Spoftify bundles are in the works.

For consumers it means more options — never a bad thing. While the HTC Hero is still one of the most revered Android handsets, it just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Now that more handsets will soon be in on all of Spotify’s awesome features and services, expect even quicker growth in the consumer market.

US users: We’re still waiting to even have access to Spotify. A big thank you to all of the stupid and greedy record labels holding up that little gem.

P.S. We hate you

ElectricPig > Three

Oxford University puts the kibosh on Spotify on campus networks/computers.

  • January 19, 2010 7:27 am

Getting a good education in todays world is a must if you plan on getting anywhere in life. Those looking for such an education have many fine and prestigious schools across the world to choose from. Here in the states, Harvard is often heard when comparing various top schools as is Oxford for those in the UK. Today however we’re focusing on the latter and one decision in particular that has students bloddy angry. It all involves P2P file sharing, though, not in the way you’d think…

I’ve written about Spotify several times before because frankly, it’s awesome. Compared to all of the music streaming services in the states, it’s simply the best option. Unfortunately, numerous amounts of red tape and corporate push over have so far kept the UK born service out of the states. But a new development at one of the UK’s most recognized colleges: Oxford.

As is similar with most colleges, P2P and any type of file sharing service is banned on campus computers and networks. Up until this point, Oxford students were able to use Spotify anyway. I mean, it is a legal service with the only knock against it (according to the school’s policies) is that it was a P2P service. Like most of you know, P2P use is generally accompanied by hefty bandwidth usage meaning it puts a heavy burden on networks. Oxford’s network is apparently buckling under the load.

Naturally, students who have come to survive on Spotify’s vast streamable library to offset the overplayed and overhyped top 40 that routinely flood the airwaves aren’t the slightest bit happy. Likewise, the school maintains their position on P2P bans pertaining to Spotify.

So where do we go from here? In all honesty it isn’t that big of a deal in the grander scheme of things (read: Haiti). Not to mention, if school related functions on their network are starting to puke because of all this new fangled music streaming stuff, Oxford has every right to maintain the integrity of their network. Still, in the digital world, it’s a pretty big thing I’d say. It begs the question: Is there a better way to handle it? Perhaps time limits tied to a particular school logon — hourly, daily, weekly?

One possible way that Oxford and schools in general can get around this is by using tunneling and other network management technologies to limit how much bandwidth is allotted to applications and services such as Spotify. Doing so would keep school and student bodies equally happy (in theory).

With restrictions and false boundaries comes those looking to get around said limitations in order to get back to what was once theirs. Such tactics to geeks are like an “Independence Day” of sorts, reclaiming lost freedoms. To the IT/school organization however, it can often lead to various punishments including a blanket computer ban and expulsion. So tread lightly.

Any Oxford students or those familiar with the matter feel like chiming in?


Google and Spotify teaming up for US Launch? Roadblocks (read: music labels) hampering progress?

  • January 4, 2010 6:14 am

Spotify is one of the greatest startups to come from the land across the deep blue. In case you managed to make it this far in life and not know what Spotify is, I encourage you to do a quick Google search or hit up the link above.

Many followers/hopefuls for a US launch of Spotify know that it is labels’ greed and inability to properly adapt to the changing landscape of music that has thus far prevented any type of Spotify deal. Being a startup and all, you don’t exactly have the most weight at the negotiating table if you know what I mean. A bigger and more established body guard of sorts would do wonders. That’s where Google steps in.

The model in Europe is simple: Everyone can access Spotify via desktop for free with ads. Spotify Premium ($9.99/month) gives you 320Kbps quality audio streams and mobile access via Spotify mobile apps. On top of that, the robust features of playlists and offline listening really make Spotify stand out from the rest of the streaming radio options. If only the US were supported…

TechCrunch has confirmed reports that a deal between Spotify, music labels, and Google is this close close to being reached.

It may seem strange at first for Google to offer help, but when you look at the bigger picture, bundling a Spotify app into Android would give it a good foot in the door of the consumer market that the iPhone/iTunes currently holds. According to TechCrunch’s sources, Google would cover the $3-$4 fee for all end users as to keep Spotify free and bundle a mobile app with the Android 2.1/Nexus One launch. That would certainly be an awesome treat.

What about other Android devices? Will it be special to 2.1 or the Nexus One? It really doesn’t matter. Give the Android community a couple days and that Spotify app will be ported to every other Android device.

Besides the freemium model, it is said that ads will also play a role in the US Spotify arena. Seeing as we currently don’t have any Spotify access, I’ll take some ads. Seriously.

It’s all speculation for now as those very same sources have said that the Spotify/Google/Music label talks have gone slightly cold for the time being. It’s a shame really. A select few greedy bastards are ruining the mobile music sphere and hampering innovation all because they’d like the $5,000 wine instead of the $50.

I can only hope the issues get ironed out and Spotify makes an appearance in the states soon.


Spotify to have exclusive first listen/initial release for Alicia keys

  • December 3, 2009 11:06 am

spotify-logoGood news for UK Spotify Premium members: Alicia Keys will be releasing her latest album “The Element of Freedom” for streaming purposes early on Monday, December 7th. This puts the stream only option a full week before it is available via traditional physical discs (December 14th). For a world that is so hell bent on keeping the media world in the past and dragging their feet with the whole move to digital, seeing someone as famous as Alicia Keys actually taking the time to negotiate the needed deals and shake the right hands so that the consumers and her fans can actually come out on top is nice change. I only hope more artists (and movie studios — some day when hell freezes over) will embrace technology so that we all can benefit.


Spotify coming to UK BlackBerries in early 2010?

  • October 28, 2009 1:50 pm

Music streamers and UK dwellers rejoice. If you’re a BlackBerry user who has been scowling in envy at your fellow iPhone toting friends with their fancy pants Spotify iPhone app, take comfort in knowing that your own version is coming soon. Very soon. Early 2010 to be exact if mocoNews is correct. While the Spotify app for iPhone is an awesome app, not everyone wants an iPhone. Let’s also not forget that the BlackBerry version, as well as every other version of Spotify will stream in the background meaning you can *gasp* do other thinks while streaming music. Novel concept I know.

The rumored 2010 release date for a UK BlackBerry Spotify app would coincide rather nicely with a U.S. launch of the service also scheduled for early next year. Such a dual launch on both sides of the pond would make early 2010 a second Christmas if you will. If Christmas isn’t a holiday you celebrate, copy and paste your own in there. It’s all the same. Regardless, BlackBerry users getting access to more media rich apps can only help the brand shrug off that stale corporate image that is so far clinging to the Canadian devices for dear life. Excited?

TechDigest > MocoNews

HTC Hero teams up with Spotify.

  • October 19, 2009 6:51 am

UK music lovers and Android hopefuls have quite the treat coming to them by way of Three, HTC, and Spotify. While here in the states, we have yet to be able to partake of this wonderful streaming service, Spotify, European users are diving in like none other.

**A quick refresher in case you don’t know the awesomeness that is Spotify — Spofitfy allows users to stream practically any song over WiFi/3G as well as cache playlists on the device for times when you don’t have data coverage.

Now, getting back on topic, Spotify has signed a new deal with UK cell provider “Three”. The new deal is simply awesome. You take Spotify, an awesome music streaming and offline music service and tie it into a contract with Three all ported through an HTC Hero, the the best second best (the Moto Sholes is now numero uno) Android device available, giving you a match made in digital heaven. The contract as I’m sure you’d all love to know includes the following pricing scheme:

  • £99 up front
  • £35 a monthly subscription
  • 750 minutes of cross network minutes
  • Unlimited texts, data and free Three to Three calls
  • (2) FULL years of Spotify Premium access via your phone, PC, or Mac

All I can see from the information above is a deal. Don’t you? Psh, looking at what I get for just a washington short of $100/month on AT&T for a single line with 450 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data makes me want to cry. Looking past the higher initial cost of hardware in European markets, their plans can be quite amazing as you can see. It’s times like these that make me yearn for a relocation to lands across the sea. Am I alone?

Three hasn’t announced the HTC Hero bundle w/ Spotify features yet. But it is coming so don’t fret. In the meantime, you can sign up right here when the bundle does become available. Waiting games are such a bittersweet affair are they not?

If the HTC Hero isn’t quite your thing, Spotify has also announced that other ways of connecting with their Premium service via many more devices is coming soon. Stay tuned!

Electric Pig