Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DRM Music Entertainment

Spotify To Bait and Switch? 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the hard-to-argue-with-the-mafiaa dept.
hype7 writes "The Harvard Business Review, of all places, is running a story suggesting that Spotify may have to rely on a bait & switch strategy — or might have one forced upon it by the record labels. From the article: 'Spotify gets all its content from the same place everyone else does – the same industry that has forced price increases on other online services once they have become successful. That appears to be at least partly what happened with Netflix last week. At least in the case of the existing a la carte music services, if you don't like the new price, you don't have to buy the new track. In Spotify's world, if you don't like the new price, there goes your music library. Or, if Spotify tries to stand up for its users, the labels can just pull the songs and those songs simply disappear.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Spotify To Bait and Switch?

Comments Filter:
  • by gnick (1211984) on Friday July 22, 2011 @12:58PM (#36847792) Homepage

    I think this is the difference between buying and renting. If you can't pick it up, it seems like you can't "buy" much any more... Pirate? Yes. Buy? No.

    • by Wovel (964431)

      I agree with your sentiment, but you can buy digital music from Apple and Amazon still. Just because you can't pick it up, does not mean you don't own it. There is no repudiation mechanism for iTunes or Amaon music, it won't just disappear one day.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by poetmatt (793785)

      Doesn't really matter. You paid for the subscription, you should own the content. http://www.spotifyrip.com/ [spotifyrip.com] is one solution. Legal? Grey area. Provable in court? Not in a million years. You're recording the playback. There have been apps that do this for everything from shoutcast to a variety of other things. Streamripper equivalents for spotify can probably do this. [sourceforge.net] I see http://spotiplay.com/how-to-rip-music-from-spotify/ [spotiplay.com] pointing to other alternatives.

      That was the first result of https://encrypted.goog [google.com]

      • by kalirion (728907)

        Doesn't really matter. You paid for the subscription, you should own the content.

        Huh? Do you own World of Warcraft just because you pay for the subscription?

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          That is also why it's the biggest scam ever. Literally you are buying into DRM. The difference is that you have a way to deal with actually getting a return value here. When you stop paying, you have nothing. You don't even own what you paid to access. Remember their suit with wowglider? You know why they're pissed, because all it did was prevented them from being as successful at being a timesink and deliberately extracting people's money.

          World of warcraft is literally the most profitable scam masqueradin

          • by Anonymous Coward

            It's a subscription service. You make a regular payment to maintain your service, in return they provide you with entertainment. Once you stop paying, you stop receiving further entertainment. They don't magically take away all your previously-enjoyed entertainment from you.
            AFAIK, a scam requires some kind of deception. I'm not convinced WoW players think they are buying into ownership of the game's assets, code and a share of the profits via their subscription fees. I'm not sure exactly what you're accusin

          • by bickle (101226)

            If it is a scam, what exactly are they promising and not delivering? I'm paying for a service, and they are providing it. When I stop paying for it, they stop providing it. I fail to see the scam.

            I hate DRM as much as the next guy, but crazy accusations like this make us all look bad.

            • by jseale (691367)

              If it is a scam, what exactly are they promising and not delivering? I'm paying for a service, and they are providing it. When I stop paying for it, they stop providing it. I fail to see the scam.

              Well, one thing they haven't delivered yet is a Roku app. Therefore, if I want to listen to Spotify content on my home stereo I have to do so via my Squeezebox Radio with an FM transmitter jacked into it, YUK!!!!

          • by smelch (1988698)
            Right.... Do you feel this way about paying to see a musical because you can't take the actors home with you? How about paintball or minigolf? Are they big scams because they take back the gun and putter when you leave, and at the end of the course your ball disappears? Theme parks that you have to keep re-purchasing enterance too, yeah its all just scams!
          • by bhcompy (1877290)
            Do you own the rowing machine at 24 Fitness? No. You pay a subscription fee to use it, and if you stop paying, you can't take the rowing machine home with you.
            • by Dthief (1700318)
              I disagree, how do you think I ended up with this rowing machine?
            • by poetmatt (793785)

              Uh, this is so far off from an accurate argument I hope you get your head of the sand someday.

              Renting physical equipment, and the subscription fee from it, are not comparable to ripping music from spotify. Not even remotely.

      • Re:Rent? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice&gmail,com> on Friday July 22, 2011 @01:26PM (#36848200)

        If the terms of the subscription are quite clear that you only have access to the music so long as you pay the subscription, why should you own the content?

        I don't own every film I get in my Netflix subscription....

        • If the terms of the subscription are quite clear that you only have access to the music so long as you pay the subscription, why should you own the content?

          I don't own every film I get in my Netflix subscription....

          I believe the popular reply on Slashdot will be "Sucker!", regardless of its merits.

        • by jseale (691367)
          Pardon my ignorance, but aren't Rdio and Mog that way too?
      • by bws111 (1216812)

        What kind of logic is that? Subscribing to spotify is like getting a library card: it gets you access to millions of songs (books) that you can use, but are not yours. You would have to be completely nuts to think that paying $5/mo means you actually own 15 million songs.

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          what ridiculousness is this?

          a library card is not at all like spotify, nor are the things you have access to.

          Why should I care? I can get the songs for free or I can rip it from spotify. Spotify is just making it a little bit easier. Songs have little to no value to me anyway, so why should I be paying more than zero for what amounts to nothing?

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          a more accurate depiction would be:

          if you were to photocopy/xerox the books from the library when you borrow them. Guess what, that's legal and free.

      • by Desler (1608317)

        You paid for the subscription, you should own the content.

        How so? You no more own the content then you own the content played on the radio. The terms of your subscription that you agree to pretty much explicitly state you don't own the content.

  • Good (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2011 @01:00PM (#36847838)

    I hope they all go out of business, so I can go back to using the "but there is no viable legal alternative".

    Oh what the fuck, I'm just going to pirate anyway, cause it's awesome.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Oh what I wouldn't give to be 15 again.

      • Re:Good (Score:4, Funny)

        by Xaedalus (1192463) <Xaedalys@yaho[ ]om ['o.c' in gap]> on Friday July 22, 2011 @01:27PM (#36848220)
        Ah yes... drool all day, stare at chicks who'd rather throw themselves in front of a bus than talk to me, and masturbate all night. Pimples, voice breaking, and endless rounds of Quake complete with teabagging, cheetos, and trash-talking. Sneaking booze out of Dad's liquor cabinet and getting the hell beaten out of me later. Ripping tunes for the lulz, and staring in envy at those goddamn 18 year old Seniors who have it all. Good times...
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Agreed, if my kids drink the good stuff from my cabinet they will damn well get a beating. They can drink the cheap stuff I buy them with their allowance and they'll enjoy it.
        • by digitig (1056110)

          Ah yes... drool all day, stare at chicks who'd rather throw themselves in front of a bus than talk to me, and masturbate all night

          Did you say fifteen or fifty?

        • Well, in his case, he was brutally sodomized on his 16th birthday. Lost his cock and balls in the process.

          So I think you can see why he might want to be 15 again.

        • I'm twenty-five, you insensitive clod!

  • The guy is worried that Spotify will start cheap and then raise it's prices if successful. And if you cancel you don't get to keep listening to music (unless you figured out a way to make your own copy, like many slashdotters will).

    Not sure what this guy's point is. A better article would be don't buy Spotifiy because GrooveShark and youtube are free. And you can get firefox extensions that make turning a youtube video into an mp3 really easy.
    • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Friday July 22, 2011 @01:17PM (#36848086)
      It's not panicky, it's real. People need to wake up. Look at how Amazon has deleted things people have purchased for the Kindle, with no warning and recourse.

      DO NOT TRUST THE CLOUD FOR ANYTHING.

      If you do not wholly control a non-DRMed local file, you don't have shit. When you use services like Steam or Spotify or any content delivery service that retains the right to delete things you've bought whenever they feel like it, you're asking for a disaster eventually. Even if the whole service doesn't tank, it will just be a matter of time before they start doing things like Amazon and deleting things you've purchased without warning. Whether it's a licensing issue or 'for the children', it will happen and you won't be able to do jack.

      You've been warned.
      • by Overzeetop (214511) on Friday July 22, 2011 @01:32PM (#36848274) Journal

        Look at how Amazon has deleted things people have purchased for the Kindle, with no warning and recourse.
         

        You mean the single title which they found out (after the fact) that a partner did not have the rights to, so they pulled the book and refunded your money? Or are there a slew of others I just haven't heard about?

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        How can Spotify delete something you own? They don't sell you (or claim to sell you) anything. All they are providing is access to their library of music. If people are dumb enough to believe that for a few bucks a month they actually OWN the songs they listen to, that is their problem, not Spotify's. Your argument is like saying "don't trust your local library, because someday a book you like may be out of circulation". If a song (or book) is that important to you, buy your own copy. For people that

      • by MarkGriz (520778)

        "If you do not wholly control a non-DRMed local file, you don't have shit"

        Duh. It's a music rental service. If you don't like it, don't use it. Buy your MP3s or CDs instead.

        Did it really require a whole article in the Harvard Business Review. What next "Stay Away From Redbox, You Cant Keep Those DVDs"

        • It reminds me actually of the King of the Hill episode where Hank's dad is tricked in 'buying' a timeshare in Mexico. Americans cannot own land in Mexico, but the timeshare people go to any length to stifle anybody who brings that fact up.

          So while Spotify/Steam/Amazon etc. don't falsely tell people that they 'own' what they are paying money for, they don't ever talk about the fact that they are licensing it either. They want people to think that they are buying things in a sense of ownership, because that
          • by bws111 (1216812)

            If anybody is stupid enough to believe that for $5 or $10 they can actually own all the music that Spotify has, then they deserve what they get. Nowhere do I see anything on Spotify's site that leads me to believe I would own anything. All they say on the main page (not some cryptic TOS) is that for $5 PER MONTH I can listen to a library of 15 million songs. The thing is priced per month, why the hell would I have to pay per month if I actually own the music.

      • You make it sound like you need to trust them with the lives of your children or something. You pay them to listen music (or just use their free service) and you listen. If they raise the prices you can cancel. What do you have to lose? You can't listen to Kesha's greatest hits anymore?
        The best answer is to get their free service and figure out how to make your own mp3's off their stream. But if someone tells me they pay Spotify five dollars a month, I'm not going to be, "OMFG! DON NOT TRUST THE CLO
    • by CRCulver (715279)

      A better article would be don't buy Spotifiy because GrooveShark and youtube are free. And you can get firefox extensions that make turning a youtube video into an mp3 really easy.

      The audio in YouTube videos is already compressed to hell, and turning it into an MP3 would mean subjecting it to lossy compression again. Relying on YouTube for music and then making the audio even worse is appalling, and I'm not even an audiophile snob.

      • When I've manually downloaded the flash and converted it to mp3, it sounded bad. When I've used firefox extensions, it made good mp3's for me. I don't really have an explanation, but it works.
      • no, the audio is actually very nice if the video is 720p.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      The guy is worried that Spotify will start cheap and then raise it's prices if successful. And if you cancel you don't get to keep listening to music (unless you figured out a way to make your own copy, like many slashdotters will). Not sure what this guy's point is.

      Me neither. I mean if it's a good service now, use it now. If it turns to crap, well then switch service or go back to pirating then. The whole "don't use it now because it might turn crap later" doesn't make sense. It's not a bait and switch any more than a car lease, you have it as long as you pay the lease. Maybe the lease company will hike their rates later, but then you're free do to something else. Just like you are every month before you pay for Spotify. I don't see the problem here...

  • only reason netflix raised prices was because they are trying to license more content. even with the latest deals the selection is still pathetic and titles vanish all the time. i might just cancel my streaming soon and buy a DVD or blu ray every month for my kids

    • by clarkn0va (807617)

      selection is still pathetic

      That's a question of personal taste. Netflix's documentary collection is large and the quality of titles on the whole is the best I've ever seen, and well worth the $7.99/month CAD that I gladly pay for it. (Ever seen Manda Balla? I hadn't even heard of this film until I saw it browsing Netflix. One of many excellent titles worth watching and recommending)

      On a side note, yes I've downloaded high-quality HD movies without paying for them (it's legal in Canada, you know), but Netflix is just easier, and the a

      • Exactly. The selection of pilates videos is phenomenal as are the exercise videos featuring a giant ball. Well worth the price.
      • The Netflix streaming library is great for browsing. You can always find great shows just by looking through the catalog.

        It really sucks for finding shows that you already know you want to watch.

        When I first heard about the change in pricing, my first thought was to keep the streaming and hit up Redbox for DVDs. My wife's first thought was to get rid of streaming and just keep the disc plan. I think what we're eventually going to do (when the new pricing actually kicks in) is to get rid of cable an
      • selection is still pathetic

        That's a question of personal taste. Netflix's documentary collection is large and the quality of titles on the whole is the best I've ever seen, and well worth the $7.99/month CAD that I gladly pay for it. (Ever seen Manda Balla? I hadn't even heard of this film until I saw it browsing Netflix. One of many excellent titles worth watching and recommending)

        On a side note, yes I've downloaded high-quality HD movies without paying for them (it's legal in Canada, you know), but Netflix is just easier, and the aforementioned selection so good that I don't know of a better place to go shopping for films on-line. The music industry would do well to bring a comparable product to market (and don't talk to me about satellite radio. The concept is ok, but the sound quality is just too poor to even think about paying any real money for).

        piracy is legal in canada?

        • by Drugmath (1219638)
          Interestingly, it is, mostly. In the early 90s, when blank CDs were becoming a big thing, the CRIA (Canadian RIAA) lobbied for levies on blank media to offset people using the blanks to copy their IP. Well, the lobbying worked, and since the 90s we've had a levy taken off the top of any blank media purchase to cover piracy. Therefore, because the CRIA is being paid for you copying before you've even done it, it basically works out that it's implied permission to copy. Thus, we end up in a position where
    • Not just because they are trying to license more content, but there is a big prediction that content providers are going to increase Netflix's licensing costs substantially.

  • Pirate FTW (Score:2, Interesting)

    Meanwhile, my collection pf pirate mp3s sits on my harddrive, perpetually available, can be transcoded into any forseeable format in the future, and has wide support on every modern portable and computing device out there...

    The market has spoken! And it has said "f*ck you".

    P.S. RIAA/MPAA I've taunted you on this website and dozens of others ever since the DeCSS incident, daring you to start legal action against me. I've got close to 2 terabytes of "your" crap on my harddrive and I have yet to hear so much a

    • this is the correct approach. downloading movies and music is very easy right now. and free. no sense in buying stuff. also, i don't have to overpay for a blue ray player just to watch movies in hd.

  • When you have music from video games or independent artists like Tryad and Tomas Dvorak?

    Some video games have amazing music. Halo, Knytt Stories, Command & Conquer?

  • Anyone got a couple of Spotify invites they can send my way? sithlordoflanc @ gmail . com
  • I've been on Spotify Premium for couple of year now, I think, maybe year and a half. That means I have so far spent about 250 songs worth (from a la carte download music shop) on the service that grants ability to browse music: I have listened to many thousands of different songs, many of which I would have hard time gaining access without the service. I would be very bummed if Spotify would shut down for any reason, but I consider the service well worth the cost.

    The summary does make a valid point though,

  • easiest way to achieve reductions on play counts on the expensive tracks.

  • I've been using Rhapsody for a while now, and am pretty happy with it. I work at my computer constantly and like having music on while I'm programming (it helps me get into the groove). I listen to a lot of music that I'm not inclined to buy. I appreciate being introduced to music that I wouldn't otherwise have known about, and I appreciate the fact that if I hear about a song or an artist I can almost always find it on Rhapsody and listen to it immediately. In other words, I get a lot out of my $6/mo (

  • Premium Spotify user here. If the prices increase I will simply stop paying and my account will be in "free" mode again. I won't lose my music collection. It's not like Spotify deletes your playlist in free mode. I'll just have to spend some hours pirating it again, so I don't think "bait and switch" applies in this case...
  • Pointy-Haired-Bosses who think everything needs to be "in the cloud", pay attention.

  • I paid good money for that music. How DARE they?!!!

  • There are plenty of alternatives. Anyone who is putting all of their eggs in one basket doesn't understand the shelf life of technology.

    Most everyone I know has some kind of personal music collection on their local machine(s), and the streaming is a complement to that. Because of the general hassle associated with managing a large and growing music collection, of course we'd love to offload that to someone else for a nominal fee.

    My current strategy involves tripling up on cloud storage and trying bef
  • Same thing happened to Yahoo! Music Unlimited, years and years ago. That's when I learned my lesson about having owned, local copies of my music.

  • It's quite simple, really. Don't buy. Don't infringe.

    Doesn't matter what the story is. Unless they're going to offer a decent deal, it's done- they offer little, if anything, that is worth what they're demanding right at the moment.

  • ... increases is content disappearing for no reason. For example UMG has disabled all songs longer than a certain amount 8+ months ago (which affects a lot people listening to classical and jazz, but not only, for example try to listen to the 2112 album by Rush on spotify...) and it hasn't been fixed yet

    http://getsatisfaction.com/spotify/topics/long_songs_are_missing [getsatisfaction.com]

    I love the idea of spotify and would sign up in a heartbeat even at $30/month, but not with this kind of issues where a record company can arbi

    • by twokay (979515)
      Oh i noticed this on a couple of albums and wasnt sure why, thanks for mentioning that. Its definitely worth the subscription still, even with the missing content from stupid labels. If they push it much further or tried a price hike i would have to seriously think about cancelling. It has stopped me pirating for the last year or so, and i have even purchased tracks i really like because i found them on through Spotify. But its not like its hard for me to start again if they try anything.
  • by heson (915298)
    Spotify is pulling their customers from the bay (eye patch one) if it becomes less convenient than the bay they will end their subscription. There is no risk involved in spotify, either you have it or you do not have it. All you lose is the not so expensive monthly fee. There is no start fee, there is no eradication of your current warez collection. You do not buy stuff inside spotify that you can only enjoy while on spotify, EVERYTHING on spotify (*) is yours to enjoy while it is there. Spotify is an all
  • Spotify gets all its content from the same place everyone else does...

    you mean bittorrent?

  • I signed up for an invite and it came the other night. I immediately signed up to check it out, went to add the mobile app and found that it required a Premium membership. Immediately uninstalled. I didn't really get the premise in the first place but thought I'd give it a chance to see what all the buzz is about. But I'm not going to use it on a desktop - I can't stream at work which is where I spend most of my computer time anyway. There, or at home I'm likely to use my phone. It seems like if I wan

  • This isn't bait and switch. Bait and switch is where they lure you in with a special offer on X, and when you go there they try and get you to buy Y which isn't such a good deal.

    I was going to say it's selling a pig in a poke, but they aren't actually selling anything anyway, since it's effectively a rental.

    So it's perhaps like you lease a foocar, and you go to bed in a house. But when you wake up you're in a cardboard box and there's a barmobile on the driveway, without so much as a by-your-leave.

    But who

  • For most folks in the U.S., you have to sign up for a free account invite. What is the schedule, quota, criteria for doling out those free invites, does anybody know? Their site says, "We'll send you [an invite] as soon as we can". Hmmmmm. When is that? Meanwhile, you give them an email address that they can use to promote their paid service to you or sell to 3rd parties. Easy for /.-ers to work around, but for the vast majority of consumers Spotify gets a free mailing list of interested music fan

    • My invite took about a week. I did not receive any other email (or at least, nothing made it past my spam filters) from them except the invitation when I could register.

  • as far as i can understand, spotify is internet radio, with ads. so why do people pay for it?

    • Only the free version has ads. You pay the $5 or $10 per month the ads go away. Also unlike radio where the songs are sent to you, you pick which songs to listen to. At least that's the audio ads. I dunno about the banner ads they also have. I don't even notice them as once I've picked the music I'm listening to, I put something else on the screen.

  • I used to have an emusic subscription and since I canceled that I really can't see signing up for one again. When I first bought into emusic you could download every album you ever purchased through emusic again over and over, which was the main feature I was paying for really. Then they changed the terms of service and made it so that you had to pay for the record again if you wanted to download it again. In short, no matter what the terms of service are now, the people at Spotify will no doubt arbitrar
  • by rusl (1255318)

    napster was the only commercial digital music service that worked in the long run (for the user) so far.

    pirate bay etc nowadays.

    I don't think people use itunes et al. for the music as much as to have a white cube gizmo software experience of the music.

  •     Revenue = Price * Users

    The user base grows until

        NonUsers * JoinRate = Users * LeaveRate

    Raising prices lowers JoinRate and raises LeaveRate,
    and therefore shrinks the user base.
    Lock-in reduces the effect of Price on LeaveRate.
    But (most likely)

        NonUsers >> Users

    so the effect of Price on JoinRate may swamp the effect of lock-in on LeaveRate.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre

Working...