Thursday, July 21, 2011

Anyone Else Trying Out Spotify?

I just got my invite to try Spotify and installed it on my computer at work. I'm still trying to figure out what the limitations are. I just listened to a few songs from Bert Jansch's Toy Balloon album, and right now I'm listening to Davy Graham's Large As Life And Twice As Natural. At one point the program played about 30 seconds of some rap song, which I guess they think I might want to buy. Not sure what I think overall, but at the very least it seems like a good way to preview full tracks before making a purchase decision.

Anyone else in the U.S. trying Spotify out? If so, I'm eager to hear your impressions. I would also love feedback from any readers in the U.K. and Europe who have more experience with Spotify. What do you think of Spotify?

8 comments:

Peter said...

I've been enjoying my Spotify account. Dialing up an album and playing it on the spot remains a strange sensation. However, I must admit my desire to visit album blogs has already dissipated to a large degree. While I've been able to stump Spotify (and many artists have incomplete discographies), I've also been able to revisit albums I've sold off and hear artists I've only read about in passing. I do think I will continue to acquire albums because I like the security of acquisition. But Spotify seems destined to make me a more informed listener.

Pete Bilderback said...

Thanks Peter. I did listen to a few things yesterday that I had wanted to hear, but hadn't gotten around to. I really thought Grant Hart's 2010 release, Hot Wax, was fantastic and I'm going to want to pick that up. In the end, I suspect Spotify will just be another engine for music discovery for me. I imagine for many people $9.99/month with access to a mobile device would give them everything they would ever want with no need for physical discs, or even hard-drive hogging downloads. But then, I really have no idea what works for other people....

Doug said...

Hey, some of us have spent decades amassing those hard-drive-clogging tracks, and we like it! New things bad! Grrr.

Were I younger, I imagine I'd go crazy for Spotify, but these days I find myself happy sticking with my hard-drive based system.

Put me out to the music pasture, I guess...

Pete Bilderback said...

Doug, you are sure making me feel old by presenting the hard drive collection as the "old school" option. My wife is worried our floor might collapse due to the weight of my record collection. If you're ready to be put out to pasture, I'm ready for the glue factory.

But I'm always interested in were things are headed and what's next, even if I'm too old and slow to move with the herd. It's obvious to me that the download model is not working for the music industry. Growth in download sales is far too sluggish to keep up with the decline of physical media. I don't know if this kind of subscription model can work either, but it strikes me as the industry's best bet at the moment.

Doug said...

Yes, but will it be a way the industry can remain financially viable?

I am preparing a post about this general topic (sort of about this distinction between collecting of old and whatever this new paradigm should be called). I'll let you know when it's up.

Pete Bilderback said...

Hi Doug,

Let me know when your post is up.

I think what is clear is that current model is not working, physical media is on the way out, and downloads are not taking their place in the kinds of numbers necessary to sustain the industry. I don't see downloads as likely to last because computing in general is moving away from the model where you keep everything on a hard-drive toward a cloud storage method.

I don't know if the Spotify model will be financially viable. If I knew the answers to questions like that, people would be paying me a lot of money to hear my opinion rather than reading it (or not) for free here. But this much is obvious, if the music industry is going to survive, it will have to look very different than it does today, because it is currently in a death spiral.

None of this is based on my own personal preferences, or what I would like to see happen (which I consider irrelevant). If there is a way forward for the music industry, my feeling is that it is the subscription/cloud model, where people pay "x" amount of dollars per month for access to "everything." Of course I could be totally wrong about that.

Doug said...

Okay, I've finally got a post up about Spotify (which ended up being more about me ruminating on my current relationship with music than on the actual service). Check it out if you get the chance.

Obscurityknocks said...

Random....but apropos of conversation regarding how much bands make through most of the different distribution methods currently available--A cool chart posted today listing graphically how much artist would have to sell, stream, etc. to make a month's "salary" of minimum wage:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/11/how-musicians-really-make-money-in-one-long-graph/249267/