Spotify Review: Still the Best Music Service on the Planet but Lame US Rollout
- Category: MP3 and Portable
- Published: Friday, 15 July 2011 00:00
When we reviewed the European version of Spotify back in October of 2009 we were blown away by the speed and simple design of the service. However, we figured by the time Spotify secured its licenses with the record labels and publishers in this region of the world, Rhapsody, MOG and others would improve the performance of their platforms.
Well, here we are nearly 2 years later and Spotify is still the most responsive and “live” feeling music service on the planet. It’s lightning quick, lightweight and simply addictive to use. The near instant response time is what makes it so fun. Other services are just too pokey and don’t provide that instant gratification that Spotify does.
Music services have met with limited success partly because people don't like monthly fees and partly because most of them just aren't very good. The user experience has suffered at the hands of taxonomy or music snobbery. Spotify changes all that. We literally laugh and smile when using this service.
Nothing’s perfect. In spite of Spotify’s efforts, there’s still quite a bit of content missing from its catalog of cleared tracks. But every music service has these challenges. Negotiating rights with Sony, Universal and Warner and artists is no easy task not to mention the smaller labels and myriad publishers. For the most part the catalog is pretty solid.
The lame "request an invite" rollout for the free version is very irritating. Really? You're just so inundated with requests Spotify that your system just can't keep up with demand? Yet, the umlimited and premium versions are open for business. Don't tout your free service and then artificially delay access to it or get ready for a class action lawsuit. This is America afterall, you're not Google, and paying for music just isn't happening much these days.
How the platform scales is critical. Spotify needs to grow significantly to survive while providing a consistent level of service. Clearly its offering is resonating within the industry because the new MOG, currently in beta, looks strikingly similar.
if Spotify does not survive, get acquired or merge with some other service we can probably officially call the subscription/ad based/ on demand music model dead.
Visit Spotify to check it out. It’s free with ads and $5 for the first tier of service.