Yesterday Spotify finally launched in the US. It was dependent on Warner Music Group giving them access to 15million songs and after 2 long years they finally agreed to partner. A decision they will not regret.
The music industry has struggled with declining record sales since the internet exploded and arguably piracy and P2P sharing took off in a big way. Yet in my opinion the music industry has been incredibly slow to respond, almost in denial that the traditional business model will need to evolve as the world emerges as a digital entity. Or if not that, they had absolutely no clue which business model would work, instead diverting money towards anti-piracy campaigns and high profile law suits to act as a deterrent to the music pirates out there - which in fact was most people. It still amazes me that a Swedish startup has developed a probable solution and yet not any of the music giants came close. Anyway, lets move on.
It comes as a huge a relief then, that Spotify which allows safe, legal and social music sharing has arrived in the US, after some 10 million Europeans signed up to its services - an indicator that people are not out to get the music industry, there just wasn't a suitable solution until recent years. And according to stats released 24hrs after the launch, Spotify has successfully blitzed the web, racking up 85,198 blog mentions, 28,266 news mentions, and 531,000 Tweets. A notable launch.
Of course there are several other legal music sharing platforms out there, including Pandora - an online music radio- but Spotify is ahead of the game because its aligned itself beautifully with the web's most important change: cloud computing. For those who traditionally bought CDs, you'll be surprised how quickly Spotify erodes a desire for a tangible product and redefines your sense of material. All of a sudden you own nothing. Yet you have everything.
Aside from an exhaustive back cat of music - you rarely search unsuccessfully- it has a pretty impressive software experience. Connectivity is FAST, faster than iTunes, and its simple to share to your social profiles on Facebook and Twitter. Well they must be doing something right because Facebook will be announcing further intergration with the music platform later this year. Still, there are several areas which need attention. The radio functionality which is Spotify's recommendation engine, will disappoint many, it compares badly to Pandora. They are also yet to release an iPad app, instead you have to make do with the iPhone's - its a terrible experience, believe me.
In the end though, these small dents shouldn't tarnish Spotify's remarkable gift to the music industry. People may not think it yet, but Spotify has secured and strengthened the music industry's future. It will only be matter of time, and rights, before the film industry follow suit. So well done Spotify, if I could I would Knight you.