Do you like free tunes? Sure you do. Most major streaming services, however, refuse to give up their mobile music for a song, instead opting to restrict phone-based listening to premium subscribers, with Slacker and Pandora being the two major exceptions. Today, a new competitor is entering the ad-supported mobile arena: Spotify. Later this week, an update to Spotify's iOS app will bring you all the free, unlimited, ad-supported tunes your ears could ever want.
Spotify users who signed up for the service right around the time of the Facebook login requirement have been counting down a musical doomsday clock since then -- the imminent ending of their six months of free, ad-supported songs. Spotify has always maintained that it would have to cut listeners down to 10 hours of gratis music per month after six months of freeloading. Today, the company changed its tune. To celebrate its ninth month anniversary in the U.S., Spotify announced it would let the ad-supported good times continue to roll.
If emulation is the sincerest form of flattery, Spotify and Pandra should be blushing. By essentially copying what they do, MySpace might be in the process of reversing its fortunes as the once dominant social networking playground reportedly gets ready to announce a million new users over the past month. That's in stark contrast to losing 10 million users a month, which the site was bleeding as recently as March of last year.
From records and 8-tracks to MP3s and Walkmen, technology changes the way in which we absorb our music. At this point, few people have memories of hauling suitcases full of cassette tapes (or even CDs) around with them on vacation as kids, and in a few more years perhaps even the ever-ubiquitous iPod will be just a memory of the past, removed from it's throne by a software that streams music to you directly in your head.
Until then, we have to make do with the technology that we have - and increasingly music fans are incorporating cloud-based, streaming services into their repetoire. From long-standing services like Rhapsody, to just-released softwares like Spotify, there are a slew of streaming music services to choose from. So, which one will work best for you? Read on for the highlights of twelve of the top options and be sure to let us know what your favorite is in the comments!
When Spotify arrived in the U.S., there was such fanfare that one part of the rollout plan was largely ignored. That free Spotify playback on the desktop enjoyed by so many users was only set to last for six months, and next week is Spotify’s six-month anniversary in the U.S. market. When that sweetheart licencing arrangement is up, free Spotify accounts are going to be much more locked down.
At first glance, Spotify and Rdio could be mirror images of one another. Both streaming services offer a catalog of on-demand songs from all the major music labels, both feature strong social media integration, and heck, each offers two tiers of premium subscriptions at matching dollar amounts. Dig down beneath the surface, however, and you’ll see that the devil’s in the details. So which Internet music service delivers the most bang for your buck? Let’s dive in and see!
Spotify may be one of the more successful streaming music services around, but man, the company is tweaking and adding features like it has something to prove. Spotify’s only been available in the U.S. since this summer, and since then, they’ve added mandatory Facebook registration for rookie users (which kind of sucks) and six months of free, unlimited tunes for newcomers (which is awesome). Last week, CEO Daniel Ek promised a big change was coming to Spotify, and today, he unveiled it: external devs can now create apps that link in to the service using "The Spotify Platform."
Amid all the doom and gloom around Spotify’s profitability for artists, the service has been doing quite well by the numbers. Without disclosing the breakdown by nationality, Spotify has announced that it has 2.5 million paying members. It appears that the expansion into the US market has afforded the music streamer solid growth.
We may call the glorious series of tubes the World Wide Web, but that doesn’t mean you can view every website’s content all around the globe. Many of the big name content providers – like Steam, Netflix, Pandora and BBC – employ region locks to limit their services to specific countries. But this is the Internet we’re talking about, so naturally, there are ways around the roadblocks.
A recent study from NPD Group and the National Music Business Association seems to have at least some record labels spooked. The report claims that streaming services like Spotify and Rdio are damaging actual music sales. In response, one distributor has pulled its 200+ music labels off of streaming service Spotify.