Independent Thinking Blog

Spotify’s Business Disruptive Factor (And Why Vinyl May Finally Be Obsolete)

Spotify has landed in America.

The music-streaming service with 15 million songs in its catalogue is likely to be disruptive to the music industry in a way that Apple only dreamt of. Here are three reasons:

1. My vinyl is finally obsolete. I have a large collection of albums and cassettes that I’ve been reluctant to jettison–even if I listen to them only rarely. Enter Spotify, and I’m listening to The Go-Betweens, The Mekons, and Gang of Four again.

2. I don’t need a bigger iPod. It drove me crazy that I only had access to a small portion of my music library on the go (not to mention all the CDs that I’ve yet to burn). Until Spotify came around, I was thinking of investing in a mega-gigabyte iPod just to have everything at hand. Now I can stream what I want or download a playlist to listen to offline.

3. I can hear what my friends are listening to. Once our school days are over, most of us don’t talk music that much. Heck, if it weren’t for my brother (who totally turned me on to hip hop by suggesting artists to explore), my music collection would be stuck in the 20th century. Spotify lets me subscribe to my friends’ playlists. It’s digital curation, the music edition.

BusinessWeek has a terrific article about Spotify. One snippet that really stands out:

“Americans own their music; Swedes rent it… If Spotify gets what it wants, your records will no longer define you. Your playlists will.”


It’s an interesting piece about a changing marketplace, and worth reading.

Have you tried Spotify? Agree or disagree that this model will change the business landscape?

Update: A link to the BusinessWeek article has now been added thanks to alert reader Bill Farrell, who was able to find it online.

Disclosure: I received a beta invite to Spotify via a Klout Perk. Within two days I had upgraded to a Premium (paid) subscription.

Photo by Pink Sherbert Photography (Flickr).

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