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Who Killed Spotify? 257

Posted by Soulskill
from the video-turns-out-to-be-a-serial-killer dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that ad-supported music service Spotify is bringing strict limits to its service, allowing users ten hours listening time per month and a lifetime total of five plays per track. Rory Cellan-Jones discusses how much their hand was forced by the labels, and how much it was down to their own desire to move more than the current 15% of users to their paid subscriptions. The overwhelming reaction from users seems to be straightforward disappointment at the loss of a service which managed to bridge the commercial radio business model and modern listening habits. As the first response to the announcement said: 'So long Spotify. It was nice knowing you. Guess I'll go back to pirating music again then.'"
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Who Killed Spotify?

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  • Only to free (Score:5, Informative)

    by mccalli (323026) on Friday April 15, 2011 @11:37AM (#35829188) Homepage
    Limits to its free service, not to Spotify in general. I've been a paying subscriber for a while and it's fine.

    Must admit though that I cancelled my subscription last week. Wasn't anything wrong with the service, which is a good one, was simply that I found I wasn't using it nearly as much as I thought I might.

    Cheers,
    Ian
    • by hedwards (940851)

      I've heard that spotify is a great service, but they still haven't managed to launch in the US, I can only wonder if this has something to do with them trying to broaden their availability in regions not yet supported.

  • ...When after all, it was you and me.

  • Yup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anrego (830717) * on Friday April 15, 2011 @11:42AM (#35829252)

    Guess I'll go back to pirating music again then

    I know this attitude well. Being Canadian, it's even worse here.

    I try to buy media, and would love to be able to legitimately buy various movies and TV shows online, but thanks to the CBC/CRTC, they can't be made available here thanks to some very backwards and broken laws.

    So you browse say, netflix or itunes (ugh.. but meh). Find something you want. Money (figuratively) sitting in my pocket, theirs for the taking .. NOPE! DON'T WANT IT! But please stop pirating because it's costing us money! Oh, here is a show made in the 80's with a 1 and a half star rating who's title contains one word from your query.. THAT we can give you! *froths at mouth*

    • but thanks to the CBC/CRTC, they can't be made available here thanks to some very backwards and broken laws.

      The movie studios will be happy to take your money once you vote in a Parliament that will repeal "some very backwards and broken laws." It's like voting with your wallet, only the other way around.

      • It's like wallet with your voting?
    • by cob666 (656740)
      I know this is off topic but I agree with you 100%. I live in the States but travel to Canada frequently enough that I have both a US and a Canadian Netflix account. I'm appalled by how smaller the Netflix selection is in Canada compared to what I can watch in the US.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        This has nothing to do with laws but only to do with studios licensing their stuff. I've been with them since the first month they came out. Have to say, that the Canadian selection while still not great, is quite a bit better than it used to be, and getting better every week. I'm sure in a year or two they'll be up to just as much stuff as the US. Until that time, i'm still happy to support a business model that I really like, even if I only watch 4 movies a month for my $8. Still cheaper and more con
    • by gmack (197796)

      It is not the CRTC or Canadian Law that stops shows from being available in Canada. It's the regional licensing systems the entertainment industry has that that require negotiating separately for each region that sites like Netflix want to make the content available in.

      Often you can't even go to a single source either because often the same content has different corporations to manage it depending on country or continent. Scrabble is a fantastic example of that: British scrabble players can't play North A

      • by Hatta (162192)

        It is not the CRTC or Canadian Law that stops shows from being available in Canada. It's the regional licensing systems

        It is Canadian law that makes licensing systems enforceable. Therefore Canadian law is responsible for broken licensing systems.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Wrong. So very wrong. Most of it can be laid at the feet of the CRTC and Cancon. The CRTC for blocking innovation and a increase in the number of competitors in the market. And Cancon for forcing a specific percentage of all broadcasts must contain 'canadian content'.

        • by gmack (197796)

          At this point that doesn't apply to the Internet. Canadian broadcasters are begging the CRTC to change the rules to change that though.

          • by Mashiki (184564)

            Indeed they are. Especially after they just ruled that netflix is not a broadcaster. Let me just say, good luck with that.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      You pay a piracy tax on writeable media in Canada. Since this is (supposedly) used to offset piracy, go ahead and download whatever you want. It's already paid for.

    • Since you are forced to pay a tax on blank media to support the music and movie industry, I would personally cease to buy any TV, music or movies from that point on and make full use of the license you cannot opt out of and are forced to pay. Buy a CD? That's worth 100 movie downloads, easy.

  • petty people (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arabagast (462679) on Friday April 15, 2011 @11:46AM (#35829296) Homepage

    That is just ridicilous. In Norwegian money, one month of spotify membership costs less than a beer bought at a pub*: and the amount of music you have available is excellent. If they really want the radio model with advertisements and a fixed playlist - listen to a goddamn radio station. Spotify is something completely different - you have full controll over what you are listening to.

    *That is for the least expensive option, where you do not have the option to use it on mobile devices. For double this, or about one and a half beer you get the added possibility of installing the spotify application on mobile devices; including offline storage to not tax your wireless data plan.

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      spotify is refusing to compete with no draconian limits and play as much as you want. If they want to do well they will have to, that is the reality of the market.
    • by N1AK (864906)

      That is just ridicilous. In Norwegian money, one month of spotify membership costs less than a beer bought at a pub*:

      In fairness, the price of beer in Norwegian money is fucking ridiculous. The only thing that’s stopped me going for a pay version of spotify is the fact I don’t use it all that much and the catalogue has a number of holes. I can let the holes go, but I can (and do) get better value buying albums with the money I could spend on spotify.

      If it ever gets near £5pm with support

      • by marsu_k (701360)

        If it ever gets near £5pm with support for mobiles I’d subscribe without thinking about it.

        Would you also like a pony with that? Seriously. 10€ per month is nothing. I spend way more on beer each month (here in .fi 10€ would be 2-4 pints, depending on the pub - although the places where that is 4 are not the ones you want to visit). I understand that some people find the omissions in the catalogue a letdown (the only hole I encounter is King Crimson - seriously Fripp, be reasonable - but I have already ripped the albums from them I want to listen), and some people simply don't listen to

        • by geekoid (135745)

          ItT's not nothing, it twice his price point, but hey you go ahead and dictate the value people should put on stuff.

          How do you know he can even afford beer?

          I have no idea who started it, but the idea that 99 cents, 5 dollar is 'nothing' should be whipped.

          It's not nothing, its ANOTHER 99 cents, or ANOTHER 5 dollars.
          The fact that you think it's nothing either means you are rich, or you have become the bitch of marketing people.

          • by marsu_k (701360)
            I certainly am not rich, my income is ever-so-slightly-above-average-but-still-average - my point was that whining about the price being too high is just unreasonable. Last.fm would cost 5€ per month, and then you really can't decide what you will to listen to, wheras Spotify will let you play what you want (provided it exists wihin the collection), for the same price. For double the price, you get mobile and offline. Sure, it'd be nice that the latter option would be 5€. Or just one. Yes, a pony
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Which says more about the beer prices in Norway...

      Pardon me for saying so, but the biggest fans I've seen of the service are those who are total music fans, own plenty CDs, listens to plenty music, used to pay plenty for it. No doubt it's a great offer for everyone who listens to music all day long, it's a very vocal and happy minority. For a lot of people - like me - music isn't all that important. It's nice to have from time to time during exercise and travel and during parties, but I rarely if ever sit a

      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        For a lot of people - like me - music isn't all that important. [...] Perhaps when you manage to look beyond your own situation you will see that Spotify for many people no longer makes sense.

        I don't think Spotify should be basing their pricing around what appeals to people who don't have much interest in music. ;)

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Just how expensive are these pub bought Norwegian beers?

  • Have huge sales all the time at rock bottom prices and you will see a increase in sales even when prices return to list price. Everyone knows they can make as many copies of the mp3 files as they want for no cost so music companies are practicing bad business.
  • In most businesses, there is a tipping point at which consumers will slow their buying habits. What recording execs consistently fail to understand is that in the music business there is a tipping point at which consumers go away forever and don't come back.

    The record labels need to remember that the option confronting users is on the one hand a model like Spotify -- and on the other hand, free (as in, I'll just bring a 2TB drive over to my friends house and get a lifetime worth of free music).

    The belief

  • 1) The existing distribution system failed, and ceded electronic sales to 1 party: Apple.
    Once all the other minor players are killed off Apple will eat the RIAA.

    2) The paid distribution model is doomed in any case.
    Drive away enough customers and they will find other things to do, other places to get music, and, most importantly,
    they will ignore your promotions.
    Once the consumers dictate the fashion, the distributors become irrelevant.

    • by slyrat (1143997)

      1) The existing distribution system failed, and ceded electronic sales to 1 party: Apple. Once all the other minor players are killed off Apple will eat the RIAA.

      You seem to forget about the other big electronic music players like Amazon, Pandora, Last.FM, etc.

  • I really love Spotify, especially the social aspects. Playlists URIs, collaborative playlists etc. are really great.

    But as a paying subscriber I really hate it everytime a song gets disabled from my playlists because of the label's greed. I've been paying more to the music industry the past year compared to the last ten years, but it's still not enough.

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Friday April 15, 2011 @12:07PM (#35829628) Journal
    Give us a product we're willing to pay for, and package it in forms that we want, and we'll probably pay for it.
    Otherwise: Fuck you. You can't stop the signal, no matter how hard you try. We'll all go back to sharing mix tapes if that's what it takes, or recording off the radio. You will NEVER be able to close the analog gap. You will NEVER be able to create any form of DRM that can't be cracked in a matter of hours or days. You will NEVER be able to stop the sale of used media. You will NEVER be able to prevent people from loaning and borrowing CDs from friends. Give it up. Change, or die.
    • They started it in the form of radio, which was seen as essentially advertising, and then became payola (pay to play). They were paying stations to play things they wanted us to buy!

      Free music has become a lifestyle, and they started it. I'm just playing along. What's the difference between turning on the radio and hearing a song, and having it on my hard drive on-demand? Nothing I say.

    • Yell and stomp your feet all you want, nothing will come of it.

      The point of DRM is to make it sufficiently hard to violate copyright. That's all.

      Breakable DRM is a balancing act between looking the other way while entertainment media is distributed as a kind of loss leader, and generating sufficient fear that the RIAA will litigate you for violating copyright.

      They don't need to change, they know what you like and have copyright and intellectual property law on their side. Meanwhile your right to repurpose

      • by kheldan (1460303)
        I don't feed the RIAA. I buy used CD's instead of new, resorting to new only when I can't find it used, and I'd buy new direct from the artists if more of them would offer their work that way. I'm sure if the RIAA had their way, they'd change the rules so that you only buy a "license" to listen to the CD, not the CD itself, and make it illegal to sell or even give the CD to someone else.
    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      "Mr. Anderson. What good is music, if you can not hear?"

      I'd not put it past the music/movie industry, or the government censors they support, to try to make it a felony to "broadcast" to music you haven't paid for.

      • I'd not put it past the music/movie industry, or the government censors they support, to try to make it a felony to "broadcast" to music you haven't paid for.

        Don't sell them short. They're working on it as we speak:

        http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2382048,00.asp [pcmag.com]

      • by kheldan (1460303)
        I don't disagree with you. I'm sure if they could find some way to make broadcast radio 100% subscription only without some government agency or other stepping in and saying "Hell, no!", they'd do it, but free broadcast radio is literally as old as the hills, and I think satellite radio has proven that the average person isn't interested in paying even a paltry amount of money for it as a subscription service -- and why should they, when they can have as much music as the average radio station has in their
    • by rsborg (111459)

      Change, or die.

      I read the last sentence with the voice of the this old Atari skateboard game, 720 [youtube.com] running through my head.

      • by kheldan (1460303)
        See, that's my point: The music industry is going to collapse under it's own deadweight. Some may say it's changing, but I say it's not changing fast enough, and while they procrastinate and keep trying to make the Old Ways work for them yet again, more and more artists are learning that they don't need the music industry, they can do it all themselves, from production all the way through distribution channels. The thing is that this may not be the most efficient way for artists to get new material to all t
    • by Freexe (717562)

      That is exactly what spotify premium is. Cheap, easy to use, great selection and has high availability. £5 per month is the right price. I can't believe you think otherwise.

      If you want free, use bittorrent and stop pretending you would ever pay for it.

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      They have changed their business model in the last few years. Now its about political lobbying to make stronger laws making it illegal, then suing those people that break those laws for exorbitant amounts of money, trying to fear monger the rest of their consumers back in line to their old model of distribution! See!

      Not sure how that's working for them...

      • by kheldan (1460303)
        It's not working. It's pissing people off, and they're either not buying anything at all (who can blame them, so much of what is being promoted right now is utter crap) or they're downloading, or they're ripping borrowed CDs.
  • Like Spotify, Rdio has a pricing model where they charge more if the endpoint is a phone. This makes no sense to me whatsoever and reminds me of the bad old days when cable tv companies wanted you to buy a separate subscription for each television set.

    For Rdio, I can tether my laptop to my phone and listen for $5 / month. Great! If, however, I wanted the phone to be the endpoint, they double the price. I can understand there are costs associated with producing a mobile app, but I would rather they just char

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      Like Spotify, Rdio has a pricing model where they charge more if the endpoint is a phone. This makes no sense to me whatsoever and reminds me of the bad old days when cable tv companies wanted you to buy a separate subscription for each television set.

      I'm hugely glad to see someone else pointing this out; we know it doesn't cost them anything continuous, and we're rightly irritated when they try to keep charging us. At best, it's greedy; at worst, they're treating their customers (us) like morons who can't count.

  • It's a far better service!
  • Uh... Kristin Shepard?

  • ...to stop piracy, let's treat our customers who access our product legally terrible and blame the dirty pirates! Surely this will turn public opinion against them. It's the pirates' fault we can't have nice things.

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