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Spotify promises ‘massive’ revamp

April 27, 2010

Spotify promises ‘massive’ revamp

This BBC news item reveals some significant changes to the way Spotify currently operates. Users will be able to import their friends from Facebook and their songs from iTunes. Then it lets them share any tracks they own with their friends by playing them direct from Spotify as well as seeing what songs their friends are listening to.

I’m not sure how to interpret this move. It comes just two months after the head of one of the biggest music labels in the world said websites that offer free music streaming, like Spotify, Last.fm and We7, aren’t the way forward for the industry. Edgar Bronfman is the Chief Executive of Warner Music, home to artists such as Muse and Jay-Z, and described free streaming services as ‘clearly not positive for industry’.

I’ve always seen Spotify as the big labels’ attempt to look modern while actually trying to drag people’s listening habits back under the old music industry’s nefarious control. Are there divisions among the industry dinosaurs about the way to the future? This revamp won’t change the existing service or the fundamental way Spotify works. Users will still have the option of listening for free with adverts every 12 to 15 minutes or paying a £10 subscription every month for the ad free version.

The figures show that less than 5% of the people who use it (around 320,000) choose to pay for this premium service. Perhaps it’s not lucrative enough for the greedy old record labels and they’ll get upset because Spotify is attempting to adapt to the modern world. I always said Spotify would not earn enough for the big labels – looks like I was right.

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