On July 14th, Swedish music streaming company, Spotify, was officially introduced to the U.S.A. As I noted in my July 20th article, social networks (such as Twitter) were flooded with news about it. Many were ready to tout it as the best, or one of the best, online music services available.
According to Inside Facebook, as of the end of September 2011, Spotify had the largest number of subscribers with “2 million paying customers compared to the next largest competitor Rhapsody which has 800,000.”
On September 22, 2011, Facebook announced that it would be forming partnerships with several media outlets, which would bring content directly to the pages of Facebook users. One of these partnerships was made with Spotify. As a result, Spotify subscribers must connect their accounts to their Facebook account. Their activity on Spotify is then presented on Facebook, and is integrated in such a way that their friends may listen to the songs in their newsfeed.
Spotify’s chief product officer, Gustav Soderstrom, spoke with The Telegraph about the partnership between Spotify and Facebook. “I think it’s going to mean that things spread even faster than before. An artist that gets picked up is going to spread faster within a market and also between markets.”
Alabama musician, Josh Carples, first heard about Spotify through sales it generated through CD Baby before it came to the U.S. He is now a Spotify user, and has four albums available on it for streaming: two solo albums, Hymns of the Mare Nostrum by current band Hail the Titans, and Our Name in Lights by former band Marsellus.
Josh shared with The Local Scene, in reference to people listening to his music, “The worst thing people can do is not talk about us.” Below, he shares why he feels Spotify’s integration with Facebook might help him and other Independent musicians gain more exposure.
While the musicians might be excited, non-musicians seem less than thrilled about the integration of Spotify on their Facebook accounts. There are some who wish to use the service without being forced to sign up for Facebook, which is now a requirement to utilize Spotify. However, the bigger issue seems to be the matter of privacy. Many are already upset over the latest changes Facebook has made, which appear to undermine user privacy settings. So when it was announced that Spotify activity would appear on Facebook newsfeeds, it is little wonder that it was met with negative feedback.
Many users have utilized social networking sites to lodge their complaints about Spotify’s attempts to become a more social service.