There was an advertising campaign not too many years ago for one of the early iterations of the iPhone: a man is casually strolling down the street, listening to what must be an MP3 player, only there’s the sudden sound of a phone ringing! He taps the small device in his hand and actually answers the phone! What dark magic is this?!
Obviously, music fans and the industry alike have had much to celebrate with the rather short evolution of portable music. We’ve gone from carrying a separate device dedicated strictly to storing pre-planned, pre-purchased, pre-loaded music to having a wide variety of player options in our phones. While there are still dedicated storage apps that allow us to make a purchase and assign it a place in our libraries, the multitude of streaming services is a clear indication that consumers still enjoy the old-fashioned “radio” aspect to undiscovered or unplanned music coming up on their devices.
Spotify has grown to become one of the mainstays of the streaming music subscription services. With a wide variety of options, including millions of individual titles as well as complete playlists for download, and the kind of “freemium” subscription model that tech users have come to appreciate, the service literally takes a “something for everyone” approach to audio entertainment.
One of the features that helps Spotify standout is the discoverability options. Discovery is something that has plagued every type of online media; the freedom that content creators have to upload their music, photos, art, books, etc., to a vast internet audience has also meant consumers have to wade through an ocean of material to discover something new. Spotify makes that easier with two distinct search capabilities: if you know what you’re looking for, just type it in, but if you’re looking to discover something new within different genres of music, that functionality is there as well.
But back to our gentleman from the iPhone commercial: perhaps the biggest draw Spotify has is in its ability to play across all of your devices. If it can connect, from your phone or tablet to your gaming station to even your vehicle, then it can play Spotify through your own account. That means your music is ready for you wherever you are, regardless of the physical mechanism you rely on to play it.
The pricing structure that Spotify developed is one that other industries can take a lesson from. Like many freemium models, there is a free option that relies on advertising–much like any television channel–to fund your account. Don’t like the ads? Pay for a subscription. But Spotify also recognizes that families don’t need multiple household accounts with different email setups and repeated payment methods, so families can sign up to all enjoy their own music. It’s particularly nice to see a student rate as well, something that far too many companies have stopped offering.
For more information or to try Spotify’s three-month free trial, click here to subscribe.