March 31, 2010

Apple Will Either Buy Spotify or Remove Them from the App Store

At the recently held World Mobile Congress I heard about Spotify. Then I heard about it again, and then again, and yet again.

Back at office, for sure I tried it and promptly paid for the service at about 10 pounds/ month (They have an ‘invite only’ free version also with ad jingles in between). And was I glad. For most people around the world, they have had some piece of music that has stuck on over the years… music typically associated with some memory, or better, a piece of music which creates a fantasy for the future.

Spotify provides UNLIMITED music STREAMING to your desktop and mobile (iPhone, Android, Symbian and a few others). The impact of this simple service is only felt when you actually use the service… very similar to all profound experiences in life. Spotify became this unlimited source of music, much unlike iTunes which does come with the music list, but teases you with a price tag at each stage. Most people are happy paying for music at one go, but iTunes makes me cringe, as every time I want a piece of music I need to pay for it. The alternative of this is the traditional search for mp3s on Google and downloading without a license. For so many reasons, it’s not what creates ‘the experience’.

Coming back to Spotify, the reason I have capitalized the two words above is this:

UNLIMITED – It’s an “experience”. You can think of virtually any song or piece of music—instrumental, rock, classical, nursery rhymes—and you get it right there, right now. Since I became a Spotify customer, I have challenged friends and family to pick a song (English and even all forms of Indian music) and their match-rate has been near 100%! Match this with the ability to get this over your phone; it says you need 3G but it works to acceptable standards even on Edge.

STREAMING – Technically, the music streams… but it’s so fast over regular connections that it feels like it’s coming off the local hard drive. The desktop client for Spotify is a marvel. The speed of search will put Google to shame. I can’t search for my local hard drive files with the speed at which you can search music with Spotify desktop client.

Being Social – You can share your playlists with Spotify as it provides unique URLs for each track. More importantly, it has brought ‘real’ social in my life. I have already had multiple Spotify parties, where friends, family get together and listen to an endless stream of music. The other day I “spotified” with my kids over nursery rhymes.

Apple – Steve Jobs needs to look at this company. I have read they are trying to launch in USA. (At the moment you need to have an address in UK, or some western European countries, to register). Spotify does to music what Apple did to computing. I won’t be surprised if Apple buys Spotify. Even if Apple removes them from the App Store, they should very much survive and thrive.

– Siddharth Jhunjhunwala
CEO, Web Spiders, Inc.

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