It’s All About the Free: Spotify’s Business is So Web 2.0

The better to stream you with, my dear…

Remember how Spotify told everyone that they were all about converting the “free” users to subscription?  Surprise!  That doesn’t seem to have ever been true.  (I’m kidding about the “surprise” part, many of us never believed that line of BS for one second given Daniel Ek’s pirate background.)

If you ever believed the “my what a big nose you have” narrative, it’s OK to stop now.  Particularly since Google is now on the Spotify board–and Google serves ads to Spotify and, of course, YouTube.  Because what Spotify’s defense of “free” is also about is YouTube and really Google’s failure to innovate past Web 2.0.

Spotify put it all in an official corporate video–which isn’t even ad supported.  

If you can follow the spin, you’re smarter than me.  It’s something like this:  All record sales are driven by “free” radio, Spotify replaces “free” radio with “freemium” (another annoyance from the Web 2.0 vocabulary), for which Spotify pays royalties.  Wouldn’t the complete analogy have been Spotify drives record sales like radio?  No, because Spotify (and streaming) replaces record sales.

And while we’re at it, if radio drives record sales so much, then why did record sales get cut in half when radio was booming over the last 15 years?

And one other thing:  When the dust settles, Spotify still sounds like shite.