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Everyone is buzzing that Spotify is here to change the face of music. I’m still not sure how its going to change an industry that is tanking for better or for worse. I am happy to say that I received my invitation to the free service not to long ago and haven’t really caught on to the whole craze. It seems incomplete to me. It’s great that I can stream as much as I want for free (wasn’t that what everyone did with napster?) but I need to be connected to the internet to use it.

Also the free service offers a low quality stream (160kbs) that is acceptable for many situations but you can tell when you amplify the sound on a pair of good speakers that something is lacking. I’ve also heard that they boast a much better streaming rate for their paid membership, but many articles say that this is only half true with about 30 to 50 percent of the songs actually playing at the higher 320kbs stream.

It has a diverse group of music in its catalog and I’ve only had a few misses and I hear they are taking great efforts to work with major labels to include their catalogs. This is where their dance with the devil kicks in. There have been more than a few complaints of independent artists and independent labels that they do not receive a fair share of revenue. Apparently by their formula an artist would need to have their songs streamed around four million times to gross over 1000.00 dollars. That’s roughly .00029 cents a song. How this is acceptable and how long it will stay that way is a good question. There has been a movement by a Indie Label rights group to change this in Europe. Many artists have also pulled their catalogs from the service in protest of their compensation practices.

The social aspect of the service is most interesting to me. By linking with Facebook, one can see what all of their friends are listening to and make playlists from that. This is very cool and leads to interesting ways to discover new music. I think expanding on this feature will allow users to share and introduce their friends to to new music in ways that will help emerging artists.

I’ll come back to Spotify after I have some more time to play around with it. I’m definitely intrigued by the  service, and think it has some great potential, but their are glaring holes in their business plan and in how they compensate artists so I’m not sure I’m totally sold just yet.

I also don’t want to come down to hard on the service, I like it, they have a great idea and I’m going to be using it. What do ya’ll think?


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