Say farewell to freemium

Although I have to admit I am a fan of the “freemium” perks that Spotify offers, I have questioned the longevity of this service. My first concern was around the time when Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify. As a fan (okay, a big fan), I had already purchased the album the day it was released on iTunes, but I use Spotify in addition just out of convenience. Spotify’s ability to create a playlist at the touch of a finger with the ability to update new music as frequently as possible is much more convenient than purchasing a song on iTunes, creating a playlist on my computer and then syncing my phone to it. I do still purchase songs on iTunes, but generally after I have been listening to them on Spotify and decide I actually like them.

Others may not necessarily adopt this approach. Instead, many Spotify users pay absolutely nothing for music whatsoever. They never purchase songs on iTunes and instead, have the patience to sit through a few ads to listen to streaming music for free. Taylor Swift and several other artists have joined the fight against Spotify and other free streaming services. Taylor Swift explained her decision to pull her albums from Spotify by saying, “I think there should be an inherent value placed on art. I didn’t see that happening, perception-wise, when I put my music on Spotify.”

“While digital download services like iTunes helped boost music sales after programs like Napster provided an easy way to pirate music, some say Spotify is providing a solution to digital download sales declining as people listen to music for free on YouTube.” – Sasha Bogursky, Fox News.

Although I understand the perception of record labels and artists, I think they may be fighting a losing battle in a sense. Technology is constantly evolving and streaming music is the future of the industry. People’s demand for unlimited music in an efficient manner is wrapped into one in the form of Spotify. In order to meet the demands of artists I fully agree with eliminating the freemium option and providing the service for a $10/month fee (small compared to the 10 songs you would be able to purchase on iTunes for this price).  I would be willing to pay for Spotify’s services but as long as there is a free option, I will continue to benefit from the freemium perks.

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