Spotting with Spotify- Final Essay for BCM112

“By convergence, I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the co-operation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behaviour of media audiences.”- Henry Jenkins

Spotify’s Target Audience is for all ages, they have all sorts of genres.

Spotify was launched in 2008, in Stockholm, Sweden by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It was founded in 2006. It launched as an app in 2008. There are two accounts for Spotify, Free & Premium.

The content of Spotify is provided by:

  • Universal
  • Sony Music
  • The Orchard
  • Warner Music
  • Merlin
  • EMI
  • & AMG

There are many features included in Spotify and they are different for both packages. There are also two differences between the Free and Premium accounts.

Features of Both Free and Premium Accounts

Free 

  • Shuffle play any artist on mobile
  • Skip 6 times per hour on mobile

Premium

  • Play anywhere anytime
  • Play offline
  • Ad-free all the time
  • Unlimited song skipping
spotify
The platform I have chosen, Spotify. It was launched in 2006 in Sweden, and in Australia in 2012. It is one of the most used music apps these days and has good competition with iTunes.

With both accounts, you can create and make your own playlists, and put whatever songs you like on the playlist.

Spotify also offers 30-day free trials, if you want to see what the Premium account is about. I mean while it’s good to play music without the interruption of ads and listening, not everyone can get the Premium account, because some people can’t afford it. Its $14.99 a month.

Spotify is available in many countries throughout the world. The countries that have Spotify are Australia, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Polan, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and Mexico.

Spotify affects many people around the world today. It is one of the most popular music applications out there and it has a huge impact on today’s society and world around us. Because of Spotify, Sweden has gone from being the worst to the best in the space of a few years. Sweden is one of the most successful countries in regards to music, ABBA are from Sweden and are one of the most successful music groups of all time, and just remember Sweden won the recent 60th version of Eurovision, (which Australia took part in for the first time).

Spotify has quickly risen to the top of the music providers, even beating top threat, iTunes.

Here is the SWOT analysis for Spotify

Strengths: Spotify has millions of followers around the world and potential remains very high for the service. You also don’t have to download songs unlike iTunes where you have to download and sometimes pay for the song or album. You can find top artists on there such as AC/DC, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. They also cover some of today’s top stars, like Geronimo, Lady Gaga and many more.

Weaknesses: The main weakness, in my opinion is probably the premium package. I know this may be questionable, but the Premium Package is approximately $14 a month, and for a year that is $168, and they charge you that whether you are using it all the time or not. It is also hard to sell in America, because many of the music labels are very reluctant to share their catalogues. But after long consideration and negotiations came on board.

Opportunities: Raising awareness of Spotify, increasing sales and opportunities to create more products with Spotify.

Threats: Rival music providers such as iTunes, Shazam, SoundCloud. People who decide that other providers are better for them. That iTunes provides proper downloads, full albums, books and magazines, where as Spotify just has the songs or the albums.

iTunes
One of Spotify’s major threats, iTunes.
soundcloud
Another threat to Spotify, SoundCloud.
shazam
Shazam, one of the top music providers is more competition for Spotify.

Although, these providers both share in common that they play music, they are threats and competition for each other and sometimes competition can be good for companies because it can bring out the best in them.

Spotify has also been in the news in the last few months for the wrong reasons. In November 2014, Taylor Swift pulled out all of her music from Spotify, she actually wasn’t too keen on sharing it with them in the first place.

Here is what Taylor Swift had to say about Spotify “In my opinion, the value of an album, is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace. Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently.”

She also stated “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art”.

taylor swift
In November 2014,       Taylor Swift pulled out all of her music from Spotify.

Artists earn less than an average of one cent per play. With the Spotify Free Account, that is one of the reasons why Swift pulled out all her music from the top music provider. She is calling for artists to reject services that devalue their work through low payouts.

Around the world today, Spotify has approximately 60 million users, and 15 million of them are paid subscribers (I was formerly a subscriber, but have now gone back to the Free Account). As seen before, Taylor Swift is unhappy with Spotify’s Free Account, and at that time Spotify just reached 12.5 million people using the Premium Account.

A lot of the audience isn’t happy with Spotify either with many musicians, like Taylor Swift displeased with it’s rates. By the way, Spotify celebrated it’s 15 million subscribers milestone, with whatelse, but a playlist. But the departure of Swift, it hasn’t yet given Spotify any trouble.

I believe even though of these circumstances, Spotify has a huge effect on its audience in today’s society, because as we know, many people (not just here in Australia) and the audience has many various reactions, views & opinions on what they think Spotify does to them, and the way it impacts them.

Spotify also has many content platforms to help them promote when new stuff comes out and also for new releases. They do this through Facebook and Twitter.

Spotify and Facebook have teamed up, and you can post on Facebook that you are listening to Spotify, and also the particular song that you are listening to and people will know. You can also put up your playlists on Facebook and promote it that way, so people can connect to Spotify and listen to your playlist. It also connects with your Facebook friends and it enables you to listen and follow their music, or playlists.

The audience of Spotify has grown in the last few years, and according to Spotify users are extremely engaged, with an average of 148 minutes (just under 2 and a half hours), spent listening to music on the top music provider. Many people use Spotify day and night, whether its on a computer, laptop, mobile or tablet.

Spotify is also very influential on its audience thanks to the social networks, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, with two thirds spreading Spotify via these social networks. Also, since January 2014, up until January 2015, Spotify’s mobile audience has also risen significantly, and more people are finding ways to access Spotify.

Spotify targets users who like to listen to music which is tailored to all different kinds of moods, activities and even parties.

Categories that Spotify provides:

  • Workout
  • Party
  • Focus
  • Commute
  • Relax
  • Travel
  • Dining
  • Romance

Spotify leverages data to identify user-generated and Spotify curated playlists aligned with specific activities and moods. They create audiences, by identifying users that listen quite frequently to Spotify, and the playlists that they have created and listen to.

Segments are reset everyday, and they do that on the back of new playlists, new users/subscribers and the overall streaming.

One of the key things under convergence is technologies and here are the technologies that Spotify covers:

  • HTML Widgets
  • Web API
  • iOS SDK (Beta)
  • Android SDK (Beta)
  • Libspotify SDK
  • Metadata API (Deprecated)

In my opinion, I think Spotify is good. I mean it has its flaws just like anything else. But the fact that you can create your own playlists and put whatever music you like. I also like that its free, because Spotify is one of the few music providers where you can listen to music for Free. Although, as you may have seen before, Spotify also has a Premium account, which I think is great for those people who are willing to pay to listen to music, and I believe the benefits are that you can listen anywhere, ad-free and you can skip songs, if you don’t wish to listen to the song at that time, when you have got it on Shuffle Play.

References

  1. https://developer.spotify.com/technologies/  Spotify Technologies
  2. https://www.spotify.com/au/brands/               Spotify Brands
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotify                Wikipeda, the free enclycopedia
  4. http://time.com/3554468/why-taylor-swift-spotify/  Why Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify, November 2014, Jack Linshi
  5. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/the-10-best-music-services-8523357.html  10 best Music Providers, March 2013, Will Coldwell
  6. http://www.slideshare.net/katietorpey1/swot-analysis-29182041 December 2013, Katie Torpey
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