Spotify is a London based music streaming site which was founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and is now poised to overtake Apple’s iTunes in the digital music market with a value of €2.3 billion. The site has 10 million users including 3 million paying subscribers. Ek was writing computer code by age five, had developed a website age 14 and by 23 he was a millionaire thanks to his skills. As well as beginning to dominate the digital music world, Soptify have recently announced new software that would allow users to embed songs onto any website – a service that YouTube now dominate. To differentiate between iTunes and Spotify, iTunes offers a pay per song service, where customers then own the songs but streaming sites, of which Spotify is the largest, offer large quantities of music for a flat fee after which you are free to listen and share the music. The company expanded widely in 2011 when it entered the US and signed a deal with Facebook which lets users sign in via the site. (Waugh, 2012)
Spotify launched in Ireland in November 2012 and offers Irish customers a choice between an unlimited streaming, with interruptions of advertisements between songs as well as their unlimited package (listen to it on your computer without ads) for €4.99 a month or their Premium option that allows you to listen to music on any devise, online or offline for €9.99 a month. (The Journal, 2012)
When I registered with the site, I found it really sleek and way – much like the way apple products work. A massive positive of the site for me is that the site is legal. From working with musicians I cannot justify stealing music online and this is an excellent alternative for me and an excellent service for artists to as Spotify pay out almost 70% of all their revenue to the rights holders of the music in royalty payments which equates to $500 million in the last three years and the figure is ever increasing. The site is affecting download sales in a positive way, as many users have reported rarely paying for music before they joined the site. (Spotify, 2013)
As of March 2013, Spotify has joined forces with Volvo to bring voice controlled streaming to cars, which will be available in May 2013, (Silicone Republic, 2013) a service best described in this video, beginning at 1.28, which is revolutionary in this industry:
It will be interesting to see what affect Soptify has on the Irish digital download sales market as well as what the uptake is here on the paid subscriptions for the site as we already have many similar sites such as Deezer, Eircom Music Hub and We7. Reflecting on all of the information I have learned through this blog post, I find myself wondering if the illegal downloading would have been such a destroyer of revenue to the music business if sites such as this had been around just a few years earlier? Nevertheless, this site is here now and it’s here to stay – doing extremely well in all business ventures and countries that they enter. It is easy to use with instant access to millions of songs. Streaming music seems to be the way forward, especially with the increase in smartphones and mobile devices in general which is why Irish musicians must make it a priority to profile themselves on these sites and begin to enjoy the royalties that they provide!
Waugh, Rob. (2012). The money comes streaming in: Spotify music guru earns £190MILLION by age 29 – making him as rich as Mick Jagger. Available: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2135424/Spotify-music-guru-earns-190MILLION-age-29–company-just-years-old.html. Last accessed 28th March 2013.
The Journal. (2012). Spotify launches in Ireland. Available: http://www.thejournal.ie/spotify-launches-in-ireland-672376-Nov2012/. Last accessed 29th March 2013.
Spotify. (2013). How do I get paid from Spotify?. Available: https://www.spotify.com/ie/about-us/artists/get-paid-from-spotify/. Last accessed 28th March 2013.
Silicone Republic. (2013). Spotify joins forces with Volvo to bring voice-controlled streaming music to cars. Available: http://www.siliconrepublic.com/new-media/item/31755-spotify-joins-forces-with-v/. Last accessed 28th March 2013.