Gini Dietrich

Spotify Is Not Your Dad’s Radio Station

By: Gini Dietrich | July 19, 2011 | 

Let’s talk about something a little less polarizing today, shall we?

Something like, say, how freaking cool Spotify is and that everyone should get (at the minimum) a free account?!

OK. Yes, let’s do that.

First things first. If you don’t have an account, go get yourself one. Click here and it should let you in. It’s my invite code, but I don’t think it gets me anything. But you should try anyway…in case they’re giving away unicorns with the free accounts.

Thanks to my friend Rusty Speidel, I have become a Bob Lefsetz fan and, because Spotify is the coolest thing to hit the U.S. music scene since, well, The Beatles (Margie Clayman will love that I just said that), he is all over telling us just what to expect from the new service.

A quick history…from the past five days.

U.S. accounts were opened up to this cool new streaming + social + instant access music service through Klout last Thursday (first good thing I’ve gotten through them since, well, ever). I’d heard a little bit about it; mostly because Mr. D recited the Wired article about it to me a few months ago.

It was hard for me to make the switch from Pandora. I love Pandora. It streams music I’ve never heard; not even on the super cool radio stations.

But then Spotify opened my eyes to an entirely new world. And it will yours too.

By Thursday afternoon, my Facebook account had been connected to my Spotify account and I could see the music my friends were subscribed to or streaming on their accounts. It’s like iTunes in your home or office on steroids.

On Friday afternoon, Beth Harte, Shonali Burke, and I were sharing playlists instantly. Playlists I subscribed to and then downloaded to the mobile app so I could listen while I ride without having to use my 3G connection.

You see, the problem with Pandora in Chicago is AT&T sucks here. If there is a ball game, you can’t use your phone because they haven’t figured out yet that people gather for games…with their phones. So if I’m riding during a game, no streaming music. I have to resort to my iPod and how boring is that?

How is this legal?

According to Bloomberg:

Without Spotify, labels know only when an album is sold. If a CD is ripped for a friend or borrowed for a party, they know nothing. Spotify gives them a record, by location, age and gender, of every single time a track is played. Jay-Z used to think he was big in London, based on U.K. album sales; it turns out he’s big in Manchester.

Whoa. As a marketer, how much would you LOVE to have that kind of information about your customers?

They make money through advertising and because they’re pretty sure you’re going to upgrade to a premium account (I did). And then there is revenue sharing with the artists and the music labels.

How much do you spend a month in new music? I’m willing to bet anywhere between $0.99 on up. I probably spend $10-$20, not including my iPhone apps. So what’s $10 a month in having access to ANY music, anytime, anywhere? You don’t have to buy the album; you can just stream it on your premium account…and listen to it anytime you like. I’m actually saving money with the premium account.


Some final thoughts (get it already)

I love what Lefsetz has to say, when he compares the new service to its competitors.

Comparing Spotify to Pandora is like comparing your music collection to radio. You listened to radio for discovery. Once upon a time, radio was a club, you felt a member, now it’s just jive deejays and the hits of the day. You can get this information online, what the station is playing, and check it out yourself, instantly, on Spotify.

So what are you waiting for?! Get over there and get yourself an account!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!