I like music and I have a music collection which, while probably not particularly large by many people’s standards, is certainly larger than the average person’s. As such, I’ve known about Spotify for quite a while and it’s a concept which has definite appeal to me. A streaming music source; you connect, you listen – a bit like a radio station, except that there is one very important distinction: you choose your own playlist. What’s not to like?
Well, what’s not to like is – or was – that I couldn’t try it out. I could have become a paying subscriber, but I’m not keen on starting a recurring payment for something that might not actually be as good as it sounds. Of course, I’d be able to cancel the payment – but only after making that initial payment for something which is an unknown and which might not be worth the money to me. To be fair, by all accounts the service is a very good one – but what I mean is that it might not be as good as it sounds for my personal needs. After all, as I said, I already have an extensive music library; it’s not as though I’m going to suddenly stop listening to that, and I can’t see myself listening to the same music on Spotify when I already have it right here, in my collection!
The ideal solution would be to become a free user or, if there was no free option, make use of a free trial. Unfortunately, though, the only other subscription model – the free one, supported by advertising – was invitation only. I could only make use of it if an existing subscriber sent me an invitation. There is an argument that this is clever marketing, making the service sound in some way exclusive and therefore more desirable, but I’ve always found it to be flawed: I like to try before I buy – no try, no buy.
And the truth is that because I already have an extensive music library and see no reason to suddenly abandon it, while Spotify does have some appeal that appeal is only ever going to be limited.
Well, it appears that Spotify have finally realised that people like me exist: They have now introduced two new subscription models – the most important one of which to me is Spotify Open. This is a free account that anyone can sign up for – no need for an invitation – which is supported by advertising and limits the subscriber to a maximum of twenty hours use per month. I think that’s ideal for trying the service out and if I decide I’m going to use it enough, then I can upgrade to the new ‘Unlimited’ plan for only £5 per month.
Well done, Spotify – it’s about bloody time!