Spotify To Offer Free Online Music Streaming
by Mikey Lavery
Living in a world with multiple sources of music outlets may seem like a dream come true for all us music lovers, but for the companies acting as providers, the constant competition and ever-changing technology can not only act as a headache. It's a fight for survival in an industry becoming more and more saturated. With companies like Pandora, iHeartRadio, Songza and Deezer.fm (just a small list of the many out there) all competing for users, each station is constantly searching for new upgrades and technology, which will allow them to lead the pack.
For some music lovers, Spotify is the number one go-to site for music streaming, but with the competition growing, even this company has been working hard to make the site bigger, better and, above all, more appealing in order to entice new customers and extend its global digital footprint.
This past week, during a live broadcast online news conference in Manhattan, Daniel Ek, the company's co-founder and chief executive, announced that Spotify would be increasing the amount of free music on mobile devices, allowing users to listen to music on the go without interruption from commercials or, most importantly, having to pay for that pleasure.
The Swedish company, which first made its mark in the world in 2008, was received globally with a huge deal of admiration from the often critical technology world. Its design, at that time, set it apart from rivals and attacked the world of online music streaming with a highly ambitious business model. The result: a website acting as a legal alternative to online piracy--something that was slowly destroying the music industry--by making music available either free with advertising or, for a monthly subscription fee, would eliminate the ads altogether. Although other similar sites existed, specifically Pandora, Spotify's technology allowed users to create their own playlists and custom build their music preference, something other sites didn't d. Now, however, Spotify has pin-pointed one major flaw in their business model: the lack of free music available via mobile devices. This was one of the main contributions to slowing down Spotify's growth.
Daniel Ek explains, "The world has changed a lot since we launched. More than half of all users are now signing up straight to mobile, and there is a huge correlation between playing on mobile and getting people to convert."
To combat this problem and keep Spotify as the market leader, the company has created an app that will now make on-demand streaming music available for free on tablets and mobile phones (before limited to paying customers). This decision comes just in time 2014 when YouTube and Beats Music are expected to introduce similar subscription services.
Mr. Ek continues, "We're giving people the best free music experience in the history of the smartphone. Spotify for mobile is no longer just for people who subscribe to Premium... and the more you play, the more likely you are to play."
Further, Spotify also announced that it was opening offices in 20 new locations across the world, including Bulgaria, Colombia, Guatemala and Paraguay, and several other Latin American countries.
As if that's not enough, Mr. Ek announced an exclusive deal with Led Zeppelin, a band with more that 300 million album sales worldwide, which will include the legendary band on the site. Led Zeppelin had previously banned all online music sites from using their music, but their representatives spent 2014 in negotiations with various streaming sites to change that. Ultimately, the band chose to go with Spotify, which has more than six million paying subscribers.
It looks like, at least for the time being, Spotify will be in pole position when it comes to online music streaming.
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