Spotify is a Swedish ad-funded social music platform, or, you can listen to music online for free with it. You download and install the program which you have to sign up for as at the moment, Spotify is in private beta.
Once you’ve installed the program, you find yourself looking at a browser that’s a combination of Safari and iTunes. You are then free to search for as much music as you can lay your ears on and start building playlists. All of the music is hosted with Spotify so you don’t have to download any pesky MP3 files. What this means is that you are essentially building your own private Internet radio station. Or not. You can share your playlists with other Spotify users, and this is where the social element comes in.
Here’s a list of places to put your playlists…
Andrew Mason has posted a playlist of his ‘Top Motivational Songs’, on his blog for example.
Spotify offers three different revenue models, and this is where Spotify gets really interesting. Anyone can sign up for free and start listening to music, but every now and then there will be an advert slipped in for about 30 seconds inbetween two songs in your playlist. Now, these adverts so far cover Lady Gaga’s latest single, something or other from a health and safety executive, and a warning about nothing in particular from the government. As you can tell, they really made an impact on me. Which is great, because it means that I must be going on standby mode when the ads come on, just as I normally would when watching TV or listening to the radio.
These adverts of course, are paying for the likes of me to be able to use the service. Level 2, at 99p, gives you unlimited access to the service, without ads, for 24 hours. This is a great way to get consumers on the free service to upgrade to level 3, the Premium service which costs just under a tenner and gives you completely ad-free listening for a month at a time, plus the opportunity to invite your friends.
Spotify has a pretty good catalogue, there’s not been any artist or song that I am yet to not find – always a good sign – and the tracks that are streamed come through as high quality MP3s, bonus. the upload times are non existent as tracks change and so far (fingers crossed) it’s not crashed on me – it’s not a clunky service – and takes seconds to load up.
Definitely a 9/10 here, good to see I agree with Hypebot about something! I’m watching with baited breath to see their next move.