Monday, July 18, 2011

Spotify comes to the U.S., will consumers be eager for another monthly subscription charge?

I will admit to be one of those consumers not very eager to pony up another ten dollars a month for another media service. Comcast costs a fortune, and AT&T is not exactly giving away its cell service. (DirecTV was dumped a couple years ago after constantly raising its prices and cutting its channel selection.)
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And so here is Spotify, fresh from overseas, ready to take on the U.S. market. The company offers three choices for accessing music: the free option will deliver music to your computer, but with ads and no access on your mobile device; the $4.99 per month option gets rid of the ads, but still keeps you locked out of accessing music on your mobile device; leaving the $9.99 option for those wanting to stream music through their mobile device.

So when I got my invite from Spotify I figured I better check it out. It didn't take me long to figure out that I'm not really the perfect candidate for this new service.

The problem for me is that I really don't need access to music on my computer, I have plenty. Music services only work for me on my iPhone or iPad. Pandora allows me to do this, but I get ads, and some 18 year old somewhere decides what types of musicians work well together, sometimes well, sometimes very poorly.

But I am most definitely not Spotify's target audience (nor Pandora's). My music collection is extensive, curated, and, for the most part, easily accessible.

But if I didn't have all those CDs (and LPs!) at my disposal I might well be more open to these types of services. But would I refrain from buying CDs from Amazon or downloads from iTunes? Probably, which is why I think that record labels who think these new services will act as a new revenue stream are deluding themselves.

Having concluded that I probably am not a good prospect for Spotify I have to add that I could always change my mind, After all, now that Netflix has raised its prices 60 percent I could always cancel that monthly charge and spend the money elsewhere!

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