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.)
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!