Recently I became curious over Spotify. Music software made only available in the European Union, and the United Kingdom. I had read much about its advertisement and marketing campaigns last year while working for a company, who I just recently sounded off on in my prior post. Spotify provides music aficionados with a free live streaming user friendly library that Pandora, Rhapsody and (the late) LaLa cannot provide, and not just for your home computer but for the iPhone as well. For those of you with an iPhone please get this app immediately and hit us up with a review of the product.
Spotify is illegal to freely distribute in the US, thanks to the record industry’s inability to wrap their minds around one simple elementary truth. A fact that is apparently evident only for us devoted music lovers; the CD based business format is dead. It is no secret to any one that those named in my previous piece act no different then pimps, intimidating others with a lack of foresight and wielding power over other companies who are in concert with an imperfect, failed model. A product like Spotify, once engineered to fit US licensing laws can be extremely useful for independent labels and artists.
How so? Simple, what Spotify provides is a distribution platform that opens up doors to everyone. Tired of being a broke artist? Spotify gives you a means by which to make money with out relying on thugs. Of course licensing firms will have a field day once this becomes legal software, but most importantly the people who would be left out of the equation would be the big dogs. The companies that hold legal monopolies over the music industry at large, such as, Target, WalMart, Best Buy, Apple, Amazon, Universal, Sony/BMG, Warner and EMI. Not to mention Big Oil who provides the raw material for plastic used by distributors to make jewel cases, CD producers, paper mills that provide the music info sleeves and cover art. Did I mention Big Oil already, because those CDs just don’t walk on over, it takes trucks to move those units for you to look at on display at retailers or have mailed to your home.
This is not to suggest to artists that all you need is Spotify and all your hopes and dreams of wealth and celebrity will come knocking on your door, you still need to provide your fan base with years of quality music to make a living off of being a rock star. Just take a look at Slipknot, a band that never seems to stop touring. Their fan base boarders that of religious fanatics and because of that the band can make a living on the road, they haven’t had a number one hit and their latest album can’t break one million units sold even though it has been out for two years, but they’re a smash success in the eyes of their core audience. While Spotify is not the answer to rocket your career in the over night fashion MTV did, it is a tool needed to begin the liberation process for music fans and bands across the country.
The free version offers twenty hours a week of free live streaming music and that is more than enough for me. Their paid subscription provides unlimited on-line streaming and off-line listening functions as well as the ability to download single tracks or entire albums. But do not get the paid subscription as the transaction will not go through and you will lose access to the product. So until then limited listening is the best of a great product can offer you.
Do you want to Tweet or Facebook a long lost track from an album of your childhood, or an album that you may have misplaced moving? Spotify provides you with that outlet to share those moments of nostalgia with friends and family. Spotify when online, has the capability to function much like that digital jukebox you always want to play with drunk at the bar, but better!! You don’t have to pay for songs not in the preset catalog! You just have to listen to the occasional audio advertisement and they are short and funny. Well funny to me because I am easily amused by advertisements in British accents, and the fact that British people in my mind are wildly eccentric with their tea and their Queen, both crowned royalty and rock royalty. Spotify eliminates the struggles of trying to find that song you love on YouTube and for artists eliminates the need to post video on YouTube for people to rip into an mp3. Obviously it will not end piracy but it definitely makes things a bit more honest from everyone’s side of the table.
I really hope that everyone can get a hold of this software; the government with all its tentacles has the potential of really screwing up a magnificent product. For more information on Spotify check out my twitter account for the link to download the software at www.twitter.com/lebrizzleofnyc. That’s right it says lebrizzle but that story is between me, a karaoke machine and a handle of Jack.
Albums listened to while writing:
Bleed American – Jimmy Eat World
Dude Ranch – Blink-182
21st Century Breakdown – Green Day
Raditude – Weezer
Raw Power -Iggy Pop and The Stooges