It’s been almost a year since Swedish music streaming service, Spotify, announced its U.S. debut, and according to Rolling Stone, there are now more than 3 million paid subscribers. Besides its free plan, Spotify offers unlimited plans, which stream music without ads, and premium plans, allowing users to listen to music on laptops and mobile devices both on and offline.
Alexi Trottier, a senior from Fairfield, Calif., and a recreation management major, listens to Spotify while at work and school. She said there is a lot to love, including the layout, ability to create and share playlists, connection to Facebook and artist recommendations.
“I love the vast array of genres and artists available to enjoy,” Trottier said. “I’ve found a goldmine of artists on Spotify.”
Not only can Spotify users find a wide variety of artists to listen to, many artists have increased their fan bases by joining the service.
J. Daniel Rollins, owner of Hillbilly Hipster Management, works with The Boatmen, an Americana soulgrass band from West Virginia. He said Spotify has helped them in many ways, including increasing fans on Facebook and Twitter.
“Spotify has really helped (The Boatmen) as an independent band,” Rollins said. “It’s built up their fanbase around the country in ways that wouldn’t have been possible years ago.”
However, being on Spotify isn’t a replacement for marketing. Briana McCurdy, a BYU music graduate, said that being on Spotify alone hasn’t increased the exposure of her CD, “Passing By Love.” She receives half a penny for every play she receives on Spotify.
“That is actually a disadvantage because people don’t buy the CD,” McCurdy said.
Elliott Watkins, a junior at the University of Missouri, said Spotify and other apps aren’t changing the music scene, but they are following trends. An economics major, Watkins said it’s becoming natural to cut out the record company as the middle man between musicians and listeners.
“(Some) are winning and some are losing,” he said. “That’s the direction the free market is going on its own.”
Whether you’re new to Spotify or a veteran user, here are some apps that will make your tunes sound even better:
TuneWiki: This app provides lyrics for the current song, even syncing itself to scroll in time with the beat.
Last.fm: Many people have linked their Spotify accounts to Facebook, but this social media app builds custom playlists based on what you listen to. It also lets you view other users’ playlists and provides suggestions for artists you might enjoy.
Shazam and Soundhound: Have a tune stuck in your head but don’t know the title or artist? Both apps have the ability to listen to a 30-second clip of a song, returning the title, artist and album name. Although many say Shazam is more accurate, Soundhound provides additional artist information, such as other albums and current tour dates.