The web is buzzing with people trying to get an early invite to Spotify, the most talked about music service since iTunes. What is it? Does it live up to the hype? Can it help your band get some added attention? After a week with it I can definitely answer these questions, and I can say without a doubt that this will unequivocally change how I listen to music.
In case you’ve been living under a rock that just won’t roll for the last few months, the U.S. version of Spotify’s acclaimed music service has slowly, officially begun to roll out. The premise of Spotify is simple: Any album you would want to listen to, in its entirety, on demand when you want it. The music database is incredible, with only a few exceptions (Be it large but unsurprising ones like The Beatles or Zeppelin) I have yet to run into something that wasn’t readily available and waiting for me to listen to. Whether it is a brand new album like Incubus’ “If Not Now, When?” or a classic like Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, you’ll be ready to crank up the speakers in a matter of seconds. I was also pleasantly surprised at how many Rocksposure Approved artist’s music was available on Spotify. If you’ve been meaning to listen to The Wildbirds, Mindset Evolution, or Trucker Diablo’s albums, they’re loaded and ready (Check our Public Playlists on Spotify, you’ll find them there). I have no idea how beneficial the royalty structure is for the bands on Spotify, but its accessible nature should only help them get their music out to new listeners.
Spotify is available in three forms: Free, Unlimited, and Premium. In its basic form, Free will get you 20 hours of streaming a month with access to their entire music catalog from your PC. With the free package, there are some occasional interruptions for advertisements as well as ads that will pop up within the player. For the casual listener, Free streaming will probably more than suffice. The ads are far from intrusive and really don’t even take over the player all that often (About every 5 songs). Unlimited gets you an unlimited amount of streaming per month from your PC and you won’t have to put up with pesky ads interrupting your music or in the player itself. Unlimited will set you back $4.99 a month. To take your music on the go, you’ll have to step up to the Premium plan for $9.99 a month. Once you go Premium, you’ll have access to unlimited, ad free streaming and the ability to use your music off line on up to three devices. Both the Android and iPhone apps are free in their respective app stores. Like many apps that are on both platforms, I found the iPhone one to be slightly more refined (And I’m a die hard Android fan), but both are more than capable of delivering your music regardless of your locale. Syncing up your playlists is remarkably easy and well integrated on both platforms.
While Spotify won me over quickly, there are a few things that some might find limiting. To listen to the 15 million songs in Spotify’s catalog, you’ll have to download the player to your computer. This is obviously how they plan on combating the flash enabled smart phones of the world from tuning in without ponying up for the Premium package. I also found the player itself to be a bit bland. Given all the hype around the service, I expected it to be a little flashier. For some, the idea of renting music as opposed to actually owning it may also be a deal breaker. However, given the vast catalog of music that’s only a mouse click away, you’ll be able to listen to anything you find as many times as you want once it is saved in your playlist.
I’ve been one of the minority that still enjoy hearing a full album as opposed to just listening to the single that’s spinning on the radio. For that reason, Spotify is going to do wonders to get me caught up with all of the albums I have been meaning to listen to. While you can still pick things out one song at a time, the ability to cue up an album in its entirety is why Spotify will be getting my $9.99 a month. While there are other options like Rhapsody and Zune Pass that deliver a similar product, neither match Spotify in the massive selection of music included in their streaming packages. With the ability to take it for a free test drive, Spotify would be hard to pass up..........that is if you can find an invite!
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As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands. You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month! If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com