I finally downloaded Spotify two weeks ago to see what all the buzz was about. All of my friends were raving about the social music experience and I could not help but notice the constant advertisements via facebook wall posts. So, I decided to see what all the hype was about.
As it turns out, Spotify delivers on the hype.
In the first few days I was able to listen to whole albums of bands that I had been meaning to research. I quickly discovered that I needed to get into bands like Bon Iver and Iron Horse, that I needed to pass on The Fray’s new album, and that I just don’t identify with Jay-Z’s music.
And then it donned on me–Spotify helps the music industry. What a novel idea.
Let me say that again–Spotify helps the music industry.
Here’s the thing: As a consumer, I want to try before I buy. However, as a Christian consumer I want to try (ethically) before I buy, meaning that I will not illegally download music. Furthermore, youtube listens are ethically sketchy at best. So, what is a Christian consumer supposed to do? What we need is the equivalent of a music rent-to-buy program for those of us who want to have confidence in our musical purchases.
Spotify allows users to listen to ENTIRE ALBUMS for FREE. The only catch is that Spotify allows advertisements to play after every fourth song. It’s like Pandora, only with whole albums.
This is a brilliant concept…and it works. At least for me.
And here is how it works.
A few weekends ago, my sister introduced me to the Jay-Z/Beyonce skit on SNL where Justin Timberlake plays Bon Iver. Timberlake’s mocking of the Bon Iver tune “Holocene” piqued my interest in the band and their cultural relevance. Later, I read that Bon Iver won the best alternative music album at the Grammy’s. So I toggled on over to spotify to give Bon Iver a listen. I immediately liked the song Holocene and then decided to listen to the entire Bon Iver album on non-stop for two weeks. And not surprisingly, my daily routine has been to get to work, have my quiet time, then open up spotify to Bon Iver and listen whilst I work.
Having clicked on ole’ Bon for two weeks, I decided today to just bite the bullet and purchase the self titled album through iTunes. Now, my spotify application is resting so that I can play Bon Iver directly from iTunes. Bon Iver is still playing the background as I type this post, but now from my purchased folder.
Had spotify not been available, I may have checked out the song Holocene from youtube and then perhaps purchased it at some point in the near future. But I would have never been so conveniently exposed to the entire album–leading to a whole album purchase.
In short, spotify works, and it helps the music industry. That is, if your consumers are guided by the ethics transforming power of the Holy Spirit.