Rock On with Spotify: My New Favorite Cloud App
And now for something completely different: Spotify may not have a partner program. Its implications for the cloud services channel are limited at best. But Spotify is completely rocking my world anyway. Why? Because Spotify is a cloud service that gives users free, legal access to what often seems to be every album ever released, and it’s just launched in America after a successful run in Europe.
The pitch is simple: Where services such as Pandora make you listen to whatever its electronic brain thinks listeners want to hear, Spotify lets them choose from a distinctly iTunes-like desktop client and listen to whatever song or album they want, on demand. Users can make custom playlists and share with each other.
It even imports a listener’s iTunes library so they never have to leave the Spotify app for anything – and that goes for Apple iPhone and Google Android device syncing, too. It’s kind of like Apple iCloud, only most of your music’s already there.
Of course, there are caveats. Like Pandora, there are advertisements on the free version, as well as (honestly, kind of vague) listening limits. For Spotify Unlimited at $5 per month, the ads vanish, listening time is infinite, and users get an offline listening mode that caches their playlists. And at $10 per month, Spotify Premium offers up a Spotify mobile smartphone app and enhanced sound quality.
But no matter what tier users are on, they don’t get to keep the music if they decide to cancel their Spotify account for any reason. And a little bit of bad news for The VAR Guy – longtime digital holdouts such as Pink Floyd and exclusive Apple iTunes artists such as The Beatles aren’t available on Spotify in anything but tribute-band form.
I’ve been listening to Spotify all day as I write this blog, and so far, I’ve only experienced a few small hiccups. The advantage of Spotify’s long test run abroad is that the service is now polished to gleaming. And I promise to TalkinCloud’s readers I’ll be back to eat my words if I’m less enamored when the honeymoon period is over.
If it sounds good to you, there’s a waiting list for the free accounts (many thanks to my colleague Dave Courbanou for the invitation), but you can jump past the line if you can commit to a Spotify Unlimited or Spotify Premium subscription.