Spotify revolutionized the way many listened to music in the approximately seven months it’s been in the US. Spotify offered a free on-demand music listening service, but many who signed up in the beginning, they’ll find that it will no longer be free.
June of last year, Spotify hopped over the pond from Europe and was released to the US. Spotify was different than what most had experienced, offering unlimited music listening as well as effortless sharing through Facebook, which was no doubt its biggest reason for success here in the US. However, from the start there was a little asterisk that not many people noticed saying “for six months” only.
From the beginning Spotify was hoping to hook the US market after having wild success across Europe in countries like Sweden, France, Spain and Switzerland. The catch that not many picked up on at first was that Spotify was on a trial basis. Free on-demand music for six months, but after that you either paid for a subscription or dealt with some heavy restrictions.
Those that are not willing to pay for the Spotify subscriptions will find that after their six months are up they will be restricted to no more than ten hours of listening a month, while only being able to listen to a particular song five times in that same month. If that sounds too unbearable, the subscriptions start at $4.99 a month for ad-less, unrestricted listening and $9.99 a month for all that plus mobile access on your smart phone or tablet.
That’s if people want to stick with Spotify. Some users may not have found their six months very enjoyable, yet they still want to listen to any song, anytime, anywhere, for that there are options. First there’s Pandora, the first Internet radio site that found a way into almost everyone’s heart.
Pandora offers four times the amount of listening for free that Spotify does on your computer and your phone, while also offering ad-less unlimited listening for $36 a year, which equals out to $3 a month.
There’s also Rdio and MOG, offering very similar services to Spotify.
Rdio works just like Spotify, giving you access to all the music you want, and allowing you to save it for later-listening and share with your friends. What makes it different is that it also offers a site you can listen to music on. So instead of having to install a program onto each computer you use you can just go to “rdio.com” and use the service. The bad news though, is you have a limited trial and after that users must subscribe to the service for similar price points as Spotify.
MOG is even more similar to Rdio, again offering you the ability to listen to music, save it, and play it in your web browser as well. What makes MOG different is, although you can subscribe for the same price points as the other two services, is that you can add credit to your account for more free listening if you share the music you’re listening to with your friends and they listen as well. With that concept MOG makes it possible for its users to listen forever for free as long as the keep sharing.
These online music services have further changed the way the world listens to music and can open up the possibilities for more innovation. The old way of listening to music, listening to the radio and buying CDs is on its way out. Although there are still those that will cling to the old way it’s inevitable, which is good for consumers and good for the record labels too.
By Gibson Smiley