Product Review: Spotify

If you haven’t already heard by now, you will likely hear about this product in the near future. Similar to how Netflix has become a household name, so to do I believe that Spotify will reach this level.

Spotify is a streaming music service that uses a subscription model. Similar companies have tried this in the past (Rhapsody, Napster, MOG, Rdio, Zune Music Pass), but none of them have executed as well as Spotify. The service uses a desktop interface and is nearly identical to iTunes in that you can create playlists, search, and view album art. I typically describe the service as iTunes but instead of clicking a “buy now” button, you just press play.

Fees for the service run from ad-supported free for 6 months (and 10 hrs./mo capped after that), unlimited for desktop only at $5/mo, and high quality streaming/mobile access/offline access for $10/mo.

Time is a limited resource for all of us, especially fathers. My general thought on Spotify is that it will be successful and that it is well worth the money if only for the reason I don’t spent time managing music, downloading from different locations, and trying to keep everything organized. I use the $5/mo. plan and it is a no-brainer since I had been spending more on music than that per month.   I listen all day at work and at home, so having ease of access to any piece of music I wish to listen to is well worth the cost for me.

If I had to highlight a negative, it would be that there are a select few albums and artists (Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles) that you won’t find here, but the lion’s share of the music content is readily available.

Added features that make Spotify enjoyable are Facebook integration (I can share and view playlists my friend’s have made public), use sites like which feature playlists shared by other users and artists,  and a nice ‘Radio’ feature where I can select the music types I like (alternative, electronic) and it will play random selections from those lists similar to Pandora.

Spotify is also making their way into the living room with integrations with Boxee and WD Live that make the interface seemless on your living room television.   For any home that leverages music to keep the atmosphere enjoyable on a weekend, this is a big plus.   You’ll find you will need the full premium $10/mo service to enjoy Spotify on these devices though.

You can try the service for free to see if you like it yourself, so you really don’t have anything to lose. I’m not a spokesperson for this product any more than another person who simply enjoys sharing details about their favorite products.


Kyle Ballard