by Caitlin LytleOVERVIEW:
Spotify is one of the top streaming services on the market and is all about finding the right song for the right moment. There are over 30 million songs to choose to stream from, with over 50 million active users in 58 markets across the globe . While Spotify is relatively new in American, launching in 2011, it was founded in 2008 in Sweden.Users can create profiles, and on there create playlists, they can follow other users playlists, and share songs on social media by connecting through Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. In addition to following their friend’s accounts they can also follow celebrity accounts and see what their followers are listening to on a side bar. The service also serves as a great music discovery tool, with Spotify’s own curated playlists, and radio feature similar to that of Pandora. With free and paid accounts there is a little bit of something for everyone with platforms on a user’s computer, mobile, tablet, and most recently home entertainment systems.
Subscriptions are broken up into two types, free and “premium” accounts in which users pay $9.99 a month to experience add free listening as well as more access to mobile listening and off line listening with data. The ratio to active paying subscribers to free listeners is over 20% .
With the legacy of CDs and era of illegal downloading slowly dying out in the music business, people are looking more and more to streaming as a way to consume music. Because of this and the gap in the market for streaming services, in the last two years there has been a large emergence of streaming services that serve as competitors to Spotify. Last year Beats headphones launched Beats Music, and Amazon Prime Music launched recently as well, amongst already existent competitors like Rhapsody and Google Play.
DEEZER COMES TO UNITED STATES:
On September 14, 2014 Deezer came to America, which could potentially prove it self to be Spotify’s biggest competitor. Deezer is one of the world’s biggest names in streaming with its services available in 180 countries . Due to licensing rights, they were not able to expand into the U.S. for quite some time, but now have the market of paying subscribers to go from 5 million users to rival Spotify’s 10 million international users . However Spotify is at a slight advantage, because while Deezer is usually formatted with a similar interface to Spotify, Deezer in America is launching on a new platform. Deezer is only launching for US users through pricy Sonos sound systems and only those with speakers and the app can subscribe to the Deezer Elite service, with a steep price tag of $19.99 a month which is double that rate to Spotify’s for premium .
TAYLOR SWIFT AND THE STREAMING STRUGGLE:
In addition to Deezer coming to America this fall, Spotify also recently suffered another large loss. Pop- country princess, Taylor Swift, just pulled her entire catalog from the streaming service. With such a large artist, obviously Swift has caused a large impact on what consumers are streaming, especially with the recent release of an album. This is all apart of a larger argument right now not only with Spotify, but all streaming services that artists are being paid too little for the amount of plays they are receiving . However, Taylor’s case is different. Management released a statement that she believes art and music are important and should be fully purchased and that albums and means of listening to that music should not be free . Because of this all of her music was pulled from streaming services with free accounts, but not those services where you are required to pay in order to have a profile. There is large debate as to whether or not her music will return, but for the time being fans are expected to buy albums, and how the relationship between Taylor Swift and Spotify will develop is one to track.
While this fall has given Spotify some tough situations, this has not stopped them from expanding.
Spotify Family, is the newest development in the programs interface. Similar to Netflix family accounts, Spotify Family now allows large families to have one billing account but different profiles for different family members, so Dad’s Rolling Stones playlists don’t get mixed in with Daughter’s Disney Princess playlist . There are separate profiles and therefore different recommendations and profiles can be listened to at the same time, unlike before when one account could only be streamed in one place at a time . In addition there is also a premium upgrade discount for families wanting to upgrade to this added service .
SPOTIFY + UBER
Spotify is know for its unique brand collaborations, which continue as they offer music lovers cool experiences. This November on the 21st they collaborated with Uber to give Spotify and Uber the ride of a lifetime . When users had both apps on the 21st, they could not only request a special car and get a vehicle with the new Spotify- enabled Uber cars, but they also had the chance to either get in a car that took them to a secret show in an undisclosed location, or get the chance to be picked up and driven around by some of their favorite artists . This venture really shows the creative side of Spotify and how they connect with their users beyond a screen.
SPOTIFY + CARPLAY
Besides the Spotify- enabled Uber cars, Spotify is now reaching our vehicles this fall with CarPlay support in the latest iOS update . The ioS app adds Apple CarPlay integration with that allows users to access the app through dash receivers and makes it easier for people to use the service in their vehicles . Audi, Ferrari, Ford, and Hundai all plan on making the application available in their upcoming models for the next year .
With all of these great strides Spotify is taking to make them selves more user friendly and connect with their users, they will continue to be one of the top streaming services into 2015.
We can look to see Spotify as a brand present at future music festivals next spring as the festival season is fast approaching, as well as other unique music experiences brought to users with live music interaction, beyond the screen.
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6. Deezer Logo 2014, Deezer.com, RT: 12/01/14
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11. 10 cities. 10 artists. Take a ride or see an exclusive live session., News.spotify.com, RT: 12/01/14
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