I just cancelled my Spotify Premium account. I truly appreciate that Spotify gave me a free trial of Spotify Premium for 48 hours and then an additional 30 days to evaluate the product. I think more companies ought to do that. Free trials of the full product gives the user a chance to see the product in it’s full glory without having to commit to paying for something they may inevitably decide isn’t right for them.
I’ll be straight with you, Spotify is a good service, a very good service. However, it’s got several very significant flaws that makes it hard for me to swallow $9.99 per month. For me, I do not see the value in the product, so I’m calling it quits.
Ownership: Purchasing vs “Renting” Music
I will give this to Spotify, they have created a truly compelling platform that gives people NO REASON to pirate music anymore. It is honestly the first product I’ve used that makes me think that SOMEONE out there “gets it.”
Part of the issue before Spotify was the 30 second sample paradigm we got from the digital migration spurred by an arduous agreement reached between iTunes and the Record Labels. That 30 seconds does nothing to give users a real flavor of an album. With Spotify, I can listen to an album several times before purchasing.
Here’s the catch, I can do that with Spotify Free. I don’t need to pay $9.99 to listen to an album in its entirety before deciding whether or not to buy an album or a song, and what I use Spotify for is to sample music and then decide whether or not I want to purchase it.
Personally, I like to own my music; meaning I can do what I want with it including put it on all of my devices. I’m not a music renter, I’m an appreciator and I buy music I like. I don’t want to pay $9.99 per month simply for the privilege of renting a song or album to play on my phone and then still have to pay money to buy it for my collection. That’s crazy!
My wife and I share an iTunes library but we can’t really share a Spotify account.
While we have some similar tastes, we also enjoy vastly different music. We put totally different playlists and types of music on our respective phones. On Spotify, even if we both load the app, we are now sharing one set of playlists, with no folders to differentiate between mine and hers. Furthermore, we can’t listen simultaneously, forcing us into 2 premium accounts. That’s $20 per month!
That’s totally insane!
Pandora > Spotify
Last.fm > Spotify
Spotify does virtually NOTHING to allow me to discover new music. This is especially true on the mobile, which is the whole reason to buy Spotify premium. Everything on is a process of searching, music doesn’t just come to me like it does on Pandora or Last.fm. Last.fm even has scrobbling of my various devices (even Spotify), so it is constantly building a music discovery engine for me based upon my interests.
This isn’t a Premium feature, it’s just something I want to vent about. Frictionless sharing is GARBAGE.
1) Not everything I listen to is an endorsement.
Frictionless sharing is noisy and obnoxious and I wish it would just stop. I’m embarrassed that I’ve listened to a certain Britney Spears song as many times as I have and even more now that it’s plastered all over my Facebook timeline
2) I REALLY don’t care what my friends are listening to.
Does that make me sound like a jerk that I don’t care? Well let me explain.
If one of my friends sends me a Facebook message, or posts on my timelines that they “really love this song and think I might like it too,” well then I’d care. But simply seeing that someone listening to Eminem doesn’t make me feel ANY closer to them, nor does it influence my music taste. I also don’t have the time to scour each connection for similar music taste. My sister in law likes Country music. So does my step-brother. I F-ing hate country music, so do I really care when they are listening to it?!
**Before you go mouthing off in the comments, I know I can turn it off. I know I can turn it off for others too, but that defeats the purpose of what could’ve been any otherwise great idea. My point isn’t to stop sharing, it’s to give us the ability to easily share what we choose to share.
This music service costs $9.99 per month but does little more than the free service?
Maybe if I was super wealthy, and had already donated a ton of my excess wealth to charity, then maybe I could see blowing the money on this. But I’ve spent a lot of money on my music collection. I’ve spent a lot of time organizing it, making playlists and custom mixes.
So yes it’s great that I get to listen to whatever I want on Spotify. But at $9.99 per month, they are barking up the wrong tree. In my opinion subscription models in music are inherently flawed especially without significant ways to discover new music. I’m waiting for iTunes match.
You know what I REALLY miss though?
Lala was the music service of the future. It had everything. Sorry Lala, you are still missed.