Why Does Spotify Keep Ripping People Off?

Categories: Spotify

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flickr/Administrador Galeria Uninter
By Emily Lundquist

Ten dollars a month is a small price to pay for practically every piece of recorded music except The Beatles. Which is why, late last year, I signed up for Spotify. Only two months in, however, I was out, and feeling like I'd been ripped off. Turns out I'm not the only one.

See also: Does Spotify Mean the End of the iPod and Your Music Collection?

A little background: Spotify Premium, the ad-free and mobile subscription arm of the streaming music service, has been available in the U.S. since 2011, and has over 5 million global users. All the kinks have surely been worked out, right? Not quite. When I signed up in December I was charged $9.99, the price for a month of service. The next day, my credit card was charged another $9.99. That's when the trouble began.

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Does Spotify Mean the End of the iPod and Your Music Collection?

Categories: Spotify

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By Dan Moore

When I bought my first iPod--this was the first iPod, when the scroll wheel actually spun around--it was a severe blow to my nerd-cred, which I guarded pretty jealously at the time. (It was the only cred I had.) Relying on iTunes and its untouchable database to maintain my MP3 collection, instead of buying a hardcover-sized Nomad and creating my own byzantine folder structure for my music (read: anime and videogame soundtracks) was a huge party foul for the kind of people who were already on my case for insufficient command line usage.

See Also:
- Spotify Launches In The States; Has Your Life Been Changed Yet?

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All Of The Arguments About Digital Music, Summarized

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Piracy is theft.

Piracy isn't theft because nothing physical is being stolen.

You are taking money out of the hands of artists.

Artists were already being ripped off by labels.

Artists can make the money back by touring.

Kickstarter.

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100 & Single: fun., Gotye, M83, EDM, And The Beginning Of The Hot 100's Spotify Years

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The top three songs on Spotify, March 20, 2012. "Young" is at No. 1 on the Hot 100; "Know" is at No. 5; and "Came" is at No. 4.
How do you know when you're at the dawn of a new pop era?

It's not like someone sends a memo. Sure, occasionally there's a well-timed cultural event that offers a hint—the disastrous Altamont festival in December 1969, which signaled that the flower-power dream was over, or Comiskey Park's Disco Demolition Night in July 1979, which warned that dance music's days were numbered, at least with middle-American dudes. But even bright temporal lines like these only seem significant in retrospect, and they don't actually change the sound of young America overnight.

The same goes for the Billboard charts, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of pop. Occasionally you get a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 that feels like a revolution instantly. Or there's a blockbuster album that feels like a generational torch passing.

This week, the song sitting on top the Hot 100 doesn't necessarily sound like a revolution. But from its title on down, "We Are Young," the soaring, Janelle Monáe-assisted rock anthem by emo-pomp band fun, wants to be generational. Two weeks ago, fun. rampaged their way to the summit thanks to a pileup of digital sales. For each of the last two weeks, "We Are Young" has topped the very healthy sum of 300,000 downloads; it's the only song to roll that many weekly downloads in 2012, let alone do it twice.

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Free Fallin' With John Mayer: Spotify's Most Popular Songs Of The Past Five Decades

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Long were the days when my nights when my days once revolved around you.

Cool Spotify timewaster of the day: If you search for "year:xxxx-xxxx" the browser will display the most popular songs released in that range in descending order. So what does this tell us about, say, this morning's healthy discussion of the best records from the last decade? Well, Is This It's "Last Nite" comes in as the 16th-most listened-to naughts track, right behind Rise Against's "Hero of War" and ahead of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister," neither of which I recall anyone in the mentioning in the comments section that followed Maura's initial list. The data has its obvious shortcomings—for instance, because Bob Dylan (whose Love and Theft also tops Is This It) has yet to license his catalog over to the cloud, "The Times They Are A-Changin' " appears at No. 19 on the naughts list thanks to its inclusion on the Watchmen soundtrack—but it provides an interesting look into the demographics and listening patterns of Spotify listeners nonetheless. I'm guessing that a sample that listens to—no, really—JOHN MAYER'S LIVE COVER OF "FREE FALLIN' " more than any other song in in the entire decade is not representative of the larger population, but I don't know, maybe he's big in the heartland? Top fives from the '60s onward below.


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100 & Single: How Digital Changed The Charts, From Gwen To GoonRock

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Spotify's top tracks (left) and albums on Friday, July 15.
The headline-grabbing music story of the week isn't on the Billboard charts—it's the U.S. debut of Spotify. With the streaming-music service less than 48 hours old here, it's a bit too soon to analyze what songs are getting the most play on its celestial jukebox and why.

But one thing is all but assured: whether Spotify excites you or leaves you a bit wary, it's bound to have an effect on the music we enjoy communally.

How do I know? Because we've been living through the Digital Era on the pop charts for about six years now, and the changes have been seismic, arguably bringing about our current four-on-the-floor dance-pop radio boomlet almost single-handedly.

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Spotify Launches In The States; Has Your Life Been Changed Yet?

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The Top Tracks list is not nearly as twee as this "hi there" image would imply.
After lots of whining from music-biz pundits and whinging from the "make music free for meeee" crowd, the Sweden-based streaming-music service Spotify launched today in the States. Those in search of invites to the free, ad-supported version of Spotify have to hook up with the icky Twitter-influence site Klout (or have a friend who's already done so); people willing to pay can either sign up for Spotify Unlimited ($4.99 a month, free unlimited streaming and no ads) or Spotify Premium ($9.99 a month, free unlimited streaming and access to the Spotify mobile app). Of the already-existing 10 million Spotify users, about 1.6 million pay for the service, according to numbers reported by The New York Times.

I've spent part of the morning playing with the service (I paid for the Premium version), and it certainly deserves some of the hype—while some have objected to the fact that Spotify uses its own app instead of being a web-based outlet, the interface is clean (thanks to it seemingly being based on that of iTunes), the audio quality is high (especially given that the songs' building blocks are pieced together like Mike TeeVee in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory before arriving at your computer), and the integration with the music already on my hard drive is elegant enough that I might launch it instead of iTunes if I'm feeling like I want to venture past the limitations of my library.

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