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Technology Analysis: Spotify And The Music Industry

3358 words - 13 pages

Introduction
It’s probably not feasible to avoid streaming music services nowadays. Every smart phone on the market is able to operate numerous music streaming applications, ranging from radio-style streaming, on-demand streaming, and even cloud-streaming. Smart TVs come equipped with Spotify, Pandora, or Rdio. AT&T partners with Beats music to offer a unique on-demand music streaming service with playlists complied by DJs. It seams that with the advent of Wifi hotspots and high-speed mobile Internet services, music streaming is becoming more and more a part of mainstream life. Spotify has been in the spotlight within this particular segment of the streaming industry ever since its introduction to the United States in 2011. (Roose, n.d.)
What is Spotify?
Spotify is an on-demand music streaming service that provides a two tiered service to its users. The free service allows users to listen to any song on demand within the application’s music catalogue, but with the presence of ads. The premium service, however, is completely ad free. Launched in 2008 in Sweden, Spotify has grown and currently has over 24 million active users. (Sisario, B) As a result of several deals struck with EMI, Sony, Universal, and Warner Music Group, Spotify currently holds a music catalogue of roughly 20 million songs.
As of 2013, Spotify is available to its users on Android devices, Apple’s iOS (iPhone and iPad), Roku, BlackBerry, Windows desktop, Mac OS X, Linux, TiVo, and various smart TVs. (See Appendix A) When using the Spotify desktop client, the software actually allows the user to select their iTunes music library and have it imported from iTunes over to Spotify. The user then has the option to synchronize his/her music with a mobile device. (Roberts, n.d.) Within the Spotify client or application, on all platforms, users are able to browse through the vast music offering and create playlists, then share them with friends on various social media platforms. The sharing can be collaborative as each person can make edits to the playlists. Therefore, Spotify users can exchange playlists by merely sending the link to the playlist in an email message and running it on the Spotify client. Additionally, individual songs can be shared on all major social media platforms, informing all friends and followers of what music they’re currently enjoying. Additionally, the premium service allows users to download playlists so that they can be available offline without the need to stream the songs over the Internet, which is a major distinguishing characteristic of the premium service over the free service. (“Sptofy’s Time”, 2014)
Besides on-demand music streaming, Spotify also offers a Radio service that is available to both free and premium users. This service mirrors Pandora in several ways, but also has some different aspects. The radio service allows users to create radio stations based on genres, decades, as well as artists. The Spotify client then generates a playlist...

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