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Opinion: 5 Things Spotify Must Do To Win in America

Integrate With SoundCloud and Other User Created Content Services

Intentionally or not, Spotify comes off as very poppy. Their homescreen, like iTunes, focuses mostly on top 40 artists and big label acts. If that isn’t your genre, you’ll likely get sick of the banners, advertisements and suggestions imploring you to buy whatever is currently dominating the charts.

Why not have the option to use Spotify for smaller labels and acts? As the hierarchy of the music industry continues to flatten, this long tail will only grow. Integrating with “off-Broadway” acts like Soundcloud, or even developing their own backend for artists to upload their files, would diversify their customer base incredibly. Granted, the search function would have to be discerning in its results; there are plenty of terrible acts out there. Yet think about being able to stream the DJ you heard at a club the night before, the next day, instantly or on your phone; that has incredible value to both the DJ (you’re more likely to come to his next show) and, obviously, you.

But here is the more savvy business reason: these small-time and amateur musicians, DJs and songwriters become Spotify’s evangelists. A legion of artists trying to get their sound out to the world will begin pushing the service. No one sells music harder than the independent artists “trying to make it”; why not weave Spotify into the effort? “Find me on Spotify!” becomes a very appealing message on Twitter or Facebook for artists looking to gain credibility, not to mention all the website links they’d build. Leverage that to expand the brand.

Will there be much royalty in it for the artists? Likely not. But writers use CreateSpace, Amazon’s self-publishing platform, not because of generous commissions (though, they aren’t bad compared to a formal publisher), but because the name gives them instant credibility within the market.

Extracting songs from the major record labels for mainstream listeners is obviously crucial to Spotify’s survival, but independent listeners have computers, phones and money also.

  • reprotected
    I come to Tom's Hardware and see horrible ads that don't even target me; like this Nike crap, and Ugg boots, and True Religion that I can't even afford. It would seem smarter for them to advertise "cheap Nvidia cards", "ram(gskill,patriot,corsair)" or "Intel 6-cores for $200" to at least trick some reader here.
  • back_by_demand
    10 out or 11 of the previous posts are SPAM

    And, laughingly enough, the article itself waxes lyrical about the annoyance of non-targetted ads having the potential to drive away customers.

    Tom's, there's an old saying about people in glass houses - sort this out because I have already read several entries from other forums users that say they have quit for good because of it - it really isn't funny anymore and laying it on the forum mods to clean up and delete them isn't a fix, a targetted blocking is what you need, like every other tech website out there.
  • Tomsguiderachel
    Dear Readers: We hear you. Thanks for commenting.
  • I got a invitation to Spotify and I really don't see the big deal? Its Pandora like with a listing of top played artists and albums. The streams sound OK and its very responsive. It does have annoying ads but I am not sure that will cause me to stop using it. What will cause me to stop using it is the ads saying how great it would be to buy the premium version without ads. I was trying to play an album one evening and I think the ads were at least every other song!. Long annoying ones at that! Yes, I think advertising is OK. But you are not selling products Spotify. You are trying to annoy me into buying into your paid subscription model. I can take the third party ads trying to sell me shampoo,cars,food,etc. Just not the constant "Please buy the service" crap!
  • christop
    Yeah thanks for the invite. I am playing around with it now.

  • Takuhi
    Spotify was great in the UK, until the record companies in the US decided to impose some ridiculous restrictions to even consider letting them enter the market.

    Before Spotify had intentions of breaking into the US market, you had to have an invitation to join Spotify. You could listen to everything for free, there were no play limits, no usage limits and only a few adverts.

    And then Spotify thought it might be a good idea to get into the US, at which point the record companies decided that the advert based business model didn't work. Now all users are subjected to constant adverts, a 5 replay limit per song and a maximum of 10 hours of listening for the entirety of their account. That's not 10 hours a month, it's 10 hours in total ever.

    That's why I stopped using Spotify. It takes me more than 5 listen throughs to decide whether a CD is worth buying, and I could easily hit the 10 Hour mark. Spotify claim that most users use Spotify to discover new music, which is correct. But with these limits, it's actually stifling the music industry. People have less money and need more incentive to pay full price for an album, Spotify was a fantastic remedy for that, at least until earlier this year.