There is a decent selection of music streaming services to choose from. Spotify remains the largest with over 190 million paid subscribers and over 273 million free users. It is even instrumental in popularizing on-demand music streaming due to its aggressive marketing efforts and technological innovations that have made its platform recognizable and accessible. This article provides a quick review of the pros and cons of subscribing to Spotify.
Pros of Spotify: Reasons Why You Should Subscribe
Those who are on the look for a music streaming platform for the first time might find themselves leaning toward Spotify. This is understandable. The brand has an established recall. Furthermore, considering the number of its subscribers and users, chances are that at least one person in the social circle of a particular individual is already a subscriber or user.
Spotify also has strong and unique selling points. It has a large music catalog. It is also available across different operating systems and platforms. There is a free version. Subscription plans are flexible and relatively more affordable than purchasing physical or digital albums or songs. The platform also has other value-added features and services.
Below are the specific selling points of this music streaming service:
• Expansive Catalogue of Music: There are around 80 million songs in different genres in the entire catalog of Spotify. These include mainstream artists in the Western world and even rising and independent artists from different countries. Some artists even prefer releasing exclusive tracks via this platform.
• No Limit in Personal Library Curation: It has also removed the previous cap on the personal library of its users. Each user or subscriber can add much songs or tracks as he or she would like in his or her library. Note that each subscriber of Apple Music is limited to 100,000 songs in his or her library.
• Dedicated Catalogue of Podcasts: Part of the appeal of Spotify is its catalog of podcasts that number more than 4 million tracks. It remains one of the most preferred platforms for celebrities, content creators, journalists, influencers, and other notable personalities to publish and stream their podcasts.
• Navigation and Content Discovery: The interface is intuitive. It is somewhat minimalist and straightforward. There are dedicated tabs and sections that categorize music or content based on genre, popularity, mood, and activity. The Discovery tab is an algorithm-based recommendation feature based on user data.
• Free Version and Premium Subscriptions: The service is free to use albeit with ads. This is similar to Amazon Music and YouTube Music. Those who do not want ads can choose from one of its subscription plans. There is a plan for individual subscribers, a discounted plan for students, and a more affordable plan for families.
• Built-In Social Networking Features: Social features have been one of the core advantages of Spotify. These include a feature for adding friends and seeing their libraries and the popular Spotify Wrapped annual roundup. Even other music streaming services have been trying to emulate these features.
Cons of Spotify: Reasons Why You Should Not Subscribe
It is true that there is a range of music streaming services to choose from. The closest competitor of Spotify is Apple Music. This platform has notable unique selling points and advantages over its competitors. Note that other providers such as YouTube Music and Amazon Music also pose a substantial threat to its dominance and market share.
Nevertheless, the availability of different platforms, each with its unique value propositions, threatens to fragment both users or subscribers and even recording artists and record producers. Some songs or albums are not even available on both Apple Music and Spotify because other artists prefer to exclusively publish their work on a particular platform.
Below are the specific issues or limitations of this music streaming service:
• No Higher-Quality and Lossless Audio Yet: One of the advantages of Apple Music is its lossless audio streaming using the ALAC audio codec standard. This is included in its basic subscription plan. Spotify has promised to roll out its high-resolution or HiFi audio back in February 2021 but for a higher subscription plan.
• Free Version on Mobile is Very Limited: Another disadvantage of Spotify is that its free version accessed through its mobile app has limited features. Users have limited control over the song they opt to hear because their playlists or liked songs are locked to shuffle mode with a time-restricted skipping option.
• Other Issues and Limitations of the Free Version: On-demand playback is available only on a desktop operating system or when the platform is accessed via a web browser. There is also no option for free users to download songs for offline listening. There is no option to skip ads, unlike the free version of YouTube Music.
• Absence of Some Artists or Songs in the Catalogue: Several artists have pulled out their catalogues from the platform. These include Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren, Graham Nash, and India Arie. Others have exclusive online distribution arrangements with a particular music streaming platform.