• April 9, 2019

    Spotify Missing the Hulu Family Plan

    Spotify and Apple have been at odds over the last year or two over different issues related to the iPhone, Apple Watch and unfair practices by Apple. Those issues aside Apple has been trying to rev up their services and offerings with Apple Music by partnering with cell phone carriers and offering their large user base of Apple Echo system users 3 to 6 months of free Apple Music. While Apple has been doing their thing trying to get new users, Spotify has been approaching user growth by offering deals like discounts to college and university students. Offering ad-supported Hulu for free to Spotify Premium members. Spotify offers a family plan or a couple’s plan and now is offering a Google puck with Spotify. One thing I have noticed about Spotify is they are trying everything to keep their growth going. Spotify, unlike Apple, is seeing their growth with the millennium crowed which is the same market Hulu is seeing their growth so it would make sense for a strategic partnership to get members. The only thing I find upsetting about the Spotify Hulu partnership is the lack of Hulu support for premium plans for users with a Family Plan or Couples Plan. While I think this could be a market that might help Hulu since they offer family plans as well, I am surprised nothing has come of this from either Spotify or Hulu.
  • Spotify claims we’re blocking their access to products and updates to their app. Let’s clear this one up right away. We’ve approved and distributed nearly 200 app updates on Spotify’s behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app. The only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every other app follows. We’ve worked with Spotify frequently to help them bring their service to more devices and platforms: When we reached out to Spotify about Siri and AirPlay 2 support on several occasions, they’ve told us they’re working on it, and we stand ready to help them where we can. Spotify is deeply integrated into platforms like CarPlay, and they have access to the same app development tools and resources that any other developer has. We found Spotify’s claims about Apple Watch especially surprising. When Spotify submitted their Apple Watch app in September 2018, we reviewed and approved it with the same process and speed with which we would any other app. In fact, the Spotify Watch app is currently the No. 1 app in the Watch Music category. Spotify is free to build apps for — and compete on — our products and platforms, and we hope they do. Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free. A full 84 percent of the apps in the App Store pay nothing to Apple when you download or use the app. That’s not discrimination, as Spotify claims; it’s by design: Apps that are free to you aren’t charged by Apple. Apps that earn revenue exclusively through advertising — like some of your favorite free games — aren’t charged by Apple. App business transactions where users sign up or purchase digital goods outside the app aren’t...
  • Recently I have been messing around with Pandora and their full music service and I have to say it has a great look and feel. Pandora is considered the godfather of music streaming as they were one of the first music streaming services online. Pandora has struggled in recent years with Spotify and Apple Music growing in numbers but it’s important to remember Pandora is an internet radio company and makes the majority of their revenue on ads. Recently in their earnings report, Pandora mentioned they have about 5.5 million subscribers to their paid services. Pandora does two paid service tears one being Pandora Plus $4.99 which is internet radio only with no ads or Pandora Premium for $9.99 being their fill on music service. Pandora has not disclosed which service has the majority of subscribers. Apple has over 40 million subscribers and Spotify has 70 million subscribers making it look like Pandora has little to no market share. Pandora has mentioned that they have over 90% of users listening through mobile which is very impressive, to say the least. Pandora who does make a majority of its revenue via advertising like most radio companies. Back in September SiriusXM invested $480 million dollars in a strategic investment with Pandora. Then in March Pandora acquired tech startup AdsWizz. AdsWizz tech aligned with Pandora’s specifically in the areas of audio monetization and ad-buying capabilities. Pandora says that it will continue to invest in AdsWizz technology that supports its core business. It’s important to realize that Pandora has 74.7 million active users which is a drop of about 6% compared to the previous year. It’s import to realize that Apple and Spotify offer artist based radio which can and has hurt Pandoras business. When you are comparing Apple Music to Pandora it can be hard because Apple Music...
  • Microsoft announced that they are officially ending their long-running Groove Music service originally called Zune music and before that MSN music. Microsoft is ending its service with style and class to its long-running die-hard customers by offering customers a seamless transition to Spotify. Microsoft will also stop selling music from the Windows Store but will continue with sell movies, TV, and ebook (only a matter of time I think till this stops). Groove Music Pass will officially close on December 31, 2017, anyone who has time remaining on their subscription will get a prorated refund which is a good move by Microsoft since many users of this service are Microsoft fanboys and I am sure die-hard Microsoft software users. Microsoft will keep the Groove app in Windows 10 so users can continue to play music on your PC or on your OneDrive. This I believe is a trade-off since there is still no way for users to upload music to Spotify I would not be surprised if Spotify adds support for uploading or playing personal music storage from OneDrive or Dropbox in the future. With Spotify on the Xbox, it makes sense for Microsoft to try to push whatever customers they have on Groove Music Pass to them. Spotify is available on the Windows store and does music better than any company on the market right now it’s the choice that makes sense and is a real endorsement for Spotify. Microsoft had many nice words about Spotify on their blog post “Which is why we’re excited to announce that we’re expanding our partnership with Spotify to bring the world’s largest music streaming service to our Groove Music Pass customers. Beginning this week*, Groove Music Pass customers can easily move all their curated playlists and collections directly into Spotify. Plus, you...
  • Spotify’s surprise announcement is all about fitness and running. The company has built an all-new user experience that’s designed for runners. Spotify unveiled the new feature at its event in New York City today. With the new feature, Spotify will now use your listening history and preferences to find the perfect soundtrack for your run. The app will use the hardware in smartphones (accelerometers, etc.) to determine your pace and play back songs that precisely match your performance. Here’s how the company describes it: We’ve combined the best music on the planet – recommendations based on your listening history, multiple-genre playlists and original running compositions written by some of the world’s foremost DJs and composers – all tuned to your tempo and seamlessly transitioned to ensure you’ll never miss a beat. Start running and Spotify will detect your tempo, matching the perfect music in time to your step – making you a harder, better, faster, stronger runner. The goal is to keep your “runner’s high” and motivation going through an entire workout. Spotify has gone so far as to compose its own music tracks that will keep in tune with your running pace and speed. And later this year, Spotify will partner with both Nike and RunKeeper to bring its streaming music to both extremely popular fitness apps.
  • On Android with the new OS and newest version of Spoitify there is no way to offline your playlist to an SD card.  This is a problem for people like me who have large playlist we want offline. After some hunting I found this great procedure. 1. Uninstall Spotify and check that the Spotify folder in sdcard/Android/data has been removed. 2. Install the old version of Spotify from here 3. You going to have go into Settings -> security and check Allow installation of non-Market apps 4. Download the app and install 5. Start the app and don’t log in (if you are logged in auto, log out) 6. Press the menu button and select the SD storage option. 7. Change the standard location to /mnt/extSdCard and then log in 8. Select a single playlist to download/offline play and let it finish downloading before you go to the next step. 9. Go to the Play Store and update the Spotify app to the newest version. It will save all cached music to the external SD card now until you uninstall the app provided you did everything correctly.
  • September 10, 2012

    Spotify Is Coming to Your Browser

    Spotify, the popular music streaming app, is getting ready to launch a browser-based version of their service, but rumors of a potential drop in the price for their premium service don’t add up. Spotify is focusing on 3 new main ideas: Spotify is developing a browser-based version of its service. Currently, users have to download a specific program to access Spotify’s streaming service. Spotify is planning improvements in discovery of music, including following the listening habits and playlists of influencers in addition to your friends. One source says Spotify may be lowering ad-free subscription prices. The rumor of Spotify lowing there prices are very speculative. Spotify pays too much of a percentage to record companies to lease their music for them to drop their prices. Spotify pays $7 of its $10/month fee for premium service to record companies. Spotify tried a price decrease in Spain and it didn’t work out for them. Spotify is currently testing a version of the service that doesn’t require new users to sign up via Facebook. Spotify has 4 million paying users. They are hoping to expand that number by adding a browser-based version of the software. I think this is a great move most common users that want to listen on their work computer probably do not have permissions to install leaving them using Pandora. I think this will definably help Spotify expand their user base.
  • August 8, 2012

    Spotify Review

    Spotify is essentially a cloud-based version of iTunes except that it’s a subscription based service and music is DRM protected.  Its music library boasts around 15 million songs with much app support from developers. Spotify has three available listening plans: Spotify Free – The free version serves ads as you listen for revenue obviously.  Music is  160 Kbps music quality.  You can manage your digital music files and connect with others using the built-in social networking features.  Spotify has been BIG in the innovation of sharing music with others following a legal version of Napster structure. Spotify Unlimited –  For only $4.99 per month you get every feature from the free plan but with Spotify Unlimited you get ad free and lets you sync locally stored music. Spotify Premium – This is a $9.99 per month package.  This lets you hear albums before they’re released, cache songs for offline playback on your computer, iPhone, or Android, and sound quality is 320 Kbps audio.  (I have this account since I spent more then $9.99 a month on iTunes this was a huge money saver.) To use Spotify you’ll need to install a local client on your PC (Windows 7, Vista, XP), Mac and there is even a Linux version is available. Apps are available for iOS and Android as mentioned above.  During the install you will be asked to choose to create an account of use Facebook integration.  The interface is fast and stable. Spotify offers a main library view, playlist and album art pane.  You can sort the library by track, artist, time, and album.  Spotify is following suite like most audio apps copying iTunes look and feel.  Spotify is not the only company to do this Winamp and Google Music followed the pattern just seams to be the standard of the times. Spotify has done the same thing Rhapsody did with allowing users...
  • August 3, 2012

    Pandora Revenue and Business Model

    Pandora a decade-old company which relies mainly on advertising and subscription revenue and competes with traditional radio, satellite radio and upstarts like Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeart Radio, and TuneIn just to name a few.  Pandora’s subscription based service called Pandora One is $36 a year which allows for more skips and ad free listening.  Pandora has never disclosed how many Pandora One subscribers they have from research I have done on the internet the estimated number is 800,000. The company has over 150 million registered users with about 52 million active listeners that have given Pandora almost a 6 percent share of the U.S. radio listening market.  The company has made huge strides on the mobile market clinching a spot in the top 25 most download apps.  But the company has admitted that they only make about $20 dollars for a 1000 hours of listening on the mobile app which is down in comparison to the $80 it makes on the PC for the same amount of listening hours.  The company lifted its 40 hour a month restriction to help gain more advertising revenue. Pandora has taken some negative press after Timothy Westergren co-founder of Pandora said the company had 80,000 artists, 800,000 tracks in its library.  Spotify had made mention that they have over 15,000,000 tracks in there library which made Pandora look inferior but over all Pandora’s loyal fan base stood by them. Pandora reported that first-quarter revenue rose 58 percent to $80.8 million blasting past analysts average forecast of $74.3 million as the company scooped up more advertisers.  Pandora a mostly free service that recommends music based on a listener’s playlists, also raised its full-year revenue outlook.