I've seen something strange happening to the best music app ever made.
- At first you could actually buy an album, DRM-free. I bought hundreds of 3-6-minute licenses that way....
And yet, Spotify decided to cut that feature and let the industry dictate Digital Rights Management. Ok, fair enough, maybe DRM-free music is too much of freedom for pirates. So I didn't complain when songs could only be played in Spotify. Apearantly the industry had more faith in 1000 people paying 0,0001ct a song - every time it was played again. And even though I can't get enough of some songs, I don't believe I've ever contributed more per song then when I could still buy my own digital collection.
Wouldn't it be like with alcohol? 70 percent of the people who drink it, buy only 30 percent of the total amount of alcohol sold. 70/30 goes for real music fans as well I believe. I'd even settle for the price of a "Family Account", and pay extra if I could still build a private (offline) collection without DRM. But 6 licenses to the entire catalog => 14,99 ?
**bleep**?! Did Spotify choose for a large mediocre audience over a small group of die hard fans? So it seems.
Because the download function isn't the only thing they stripped from the original application. Earlier on, Spotify provided a platform for any developer who made some music related app. And it was great. All good music apps were offered in one program, making it by far the best program for any music fan.
But again, it appearantly was not commercially interesting to maintain that many apps while still getting to the core business of providing affordable music. So again the hardcore fans were ignored, and Spotify only kept MusixMatch - by far the best app in the whole catalog imho.
Then things were good for a while. You had MusixMatch as a sort of open community writing down the lyrics for anyone who wished to sing along (me!). So, there was still hope for the die hard music fans.
In the early days, Spotify would actually respond to e-mail within 48 hours. That service was lost along the way as well. And the various Twitter accounts don't do better.
Now we have to help eachother. It's not all bad, but it's different. Okay, we only paid for streaming music and the lyrics in one application, that was still pretty nice. And then Spotify decided they wouldn't be friends with MusixMatch any longer. Officially making Spotify some watered down BS streaming only app where there are many alternatives alike. (XBox Music, Groove, iTunes, YouTube etc.) You've actually made it a terrible choice for people who weren't planning to pay for art anyway. Only shuffle, no offline storage, commercials - **bleep**, in the 1950's they had a better music streaming platform, my grandparents called it radio!
And the real fans were back in the days buying large vinyl records that were impossible to keep producing the same sound after a 1000 plays. And later on the fans bought laserdiscs, and CD-drives and Mini-Disc and God knows what kind of horrible alternatives to actually going to a live show. Ofcourse people who go to live shows still contribute relatively the most to the bands that they choose. But runner up were the fans who paid for listening to something that can't be expressed in a specific amount. But I'd double my contribution for the way it was; provided I could legally (while still supporting the artists) DRM-free download one album a month as well. Now, it's 2016, and roughly every music service other than radio, costs about 10 euro/dollar a month. And they all provide similar functionality in the apps. You can't get an unencrypted copy of what you're listening to, even if you're willing to pay for it. Forcing collectors almost to pirate it. (If you can play it, you can copy it - DRM is a lie.) Or you have to settle for a digital copy alone, and manually convert it to something any device will play. Groove offers cloud storage combined with 9,99 a month for the streaming infinite library.
And now I'm getting close to my point here: What is to expect of Spotify? I'm still paying the same 120 euro a year for a program that offers less and less features that actually matter to me. Okay, it's nice I can use my phone as a remote for my desktop client, but really that was not the best part of Spotify you've kept alive.
I only still pay for the service because I'm loyal to it. But I bet that if I would give it even more thought, that I'd find a reasonable alternative - with lyrics, and video's, and recorded live shows and without ads ... oh Hello: YouTube Red!
I hope I expressed my concerns clearly without personally offending anyone.
Re-invent old Spotify as a elite service for twice the fee, and I happily pay for it. People who don't value music that much probably won't - ever.