Subscribe to Spotify?
Posted on August 6, 2016
I grew up without popular culture.
Growing up in Coldfoot I remember a cassette of Born in the USA, an Intellivision, and an extensive boot-leg VHS collection.
Instead of cultural discovery we re-played things over and over. Even when we eventually moved to a place with cable I watched The Fugitive every day after school for a year.
The majority of my early music exploration was the compact disc, most of which I still have archived in what I refer to as my "book of shame" (I'm pretty sure 311 is in there).
My music turning point was Napster. I was working in a QA lab where we were testing software on multiple computers. At one point we had Napster running on over a dozen machines and we listened to so much weird stuff. Thank the internet for network effects!
Since being in New York I've started a free trial of Spotify. The music discovery features are exciting, but like Napster I am suspicious of the economics (see Additional Notes below).
“We now have more technology than ever before to ensure that if you’re the smallest, strangest musician in the world, doing something that only 20 people in the world will dig, we can now find those 20 people." -Spotify on Discover Weekly
Deliverables & Benefits
A steady stream of new music for me that will be shared with (and judged by) the shareholders. The social elements of Spotify add a way for shareholders to recommend listening choices and keep an eye on what I'm listening to and the Discover algorithms will learn more about what I like than I do.
Costs & Payment Schedule
Spotify is $10 a month, to be paid from my personal account.
Process & Timeline
A yes vote results in the purchase of a Spotify account. A no vote results in a return to a slower method of music discovery that includes purchasing MP3s, using sites like bandcamp/soundcloud, and a slower adoption of new music.
Taylor Swift Announces World Tour and Pulls Her Music From Spotify
"It was this free offering that compelled Taylor Swift to remove her catalogue from the streaming service." -TIME
"We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone." -Spotify's Official Response
"Spotify uses a complex formula to determine the royalties artists earn from streams. Unless this model changes, or labels take a smaller cut of the profits, the numbers will remain minuscule for smaller artists." -The Verge
In 2014 Spotify reported net losses of $197 million, up from a loss of about $68 million in 2013. Spotify, which is privately held, has been the subject of regular speculation about an initial public offering. -NY Times
"We believe we will generate substantial revenues as our reach expands, and that, at scale, our margins will improve," the company wrote in a management report in 2015, according to the Guardian. "We will therefore continue to invest relentlessly in our product and marketing initiatives to accelerate reach."
"If these trends continue, it will be a forever diminishing return for the music creators and copyright holders to the point where there may no longer be an economic business model that generates any real revenue for the music creators and copyright holders." -The More Money Spotify Makes, The Less Artists Get Paid
"It's scary how well @Spotify Discover Weekly playlists know me. Like former-lover-who-lived-through-a-near-death experience-with-me well."