When I think about what makes a product a great product, I think about the ways it disrupts the status quo and how it makes the user’s life better in the process. Immediately, what comes to mind is Spotify.
Spotify is a digital music, podcast, and video streaming service that gives you access to millions of songs and other content from artists all over the world. In addition to streaming music and podcasts, users get recommendations from personalized playlists such as their “Discover Weekly” and “Daily Mix” playlists; build their own library and create playlists of their favorite songs; and see what their friends, artists, and other celebrities are listening to.
Spotify has been an absolute game changer in my life and it redefined how I listen to music by solving three distinct problems I experienced it the past: using too many devices and services, having limited means to discover new songs and artists, and paying too much to listen to music.
Streamlining the music listening experience
Before the advent of Spotify, I used at least five different devices and platforms to listen to music and each of those served its own purpose. When I was driving in my car, I utilized my car’s radio and had all my favorite stations programed to make switching back and forth easier when I didn’t feel like listening to ads or when I didn’t like the song that was playing. When I was out and about, I used my iPod, and listened to whatever digital albums I bought on iTunes. If I wanted to listen to curated playlists, I’d use services like Pandora or 8Tracks. Lastly, if I was feeling extra nostalgic, I’d bust out my parents boombox and play the CDs my dad burned for me as a kid.
With Spotify, I can now streamline my music listening to one platform and personalize it exactly to my liking. Whether I’m in the car or at home, I only need one app. If I wanted to create my playlists or listen to curated playlists from other users and artists, I can do so as well. I even have the ability to change songs at the tap of a button without worrying about an ad popping up. The possibilities are endless!
Discovering new music
Half the fun of listening to music is discovering new songs and artists. In the past, this “fun” was limited to what was playing on the radio, random songs that would pop up on various playlists, and my friends’ recommendations of what they think I would like. This worked fine for the time being, but I didn’t realize just how enjoyable discovering new music could be until I started using Spotify.
Spotify prides itself on helping users find new music and they have their recommendation system down to a science. Spotify accomplishes this through its personalized playlists, song suggestions for your existing playlists, and radio stations based on tracks, artists, and albums. These change depending on your listening habits or selected songs. I now look forward to using this app because of how it’s expanded my own music horizons and helped me find my next favorite.
Making music affordable
Listening to music the way I want, i.e. ad-free and at any time of day, was not always affordable. Before, I’d have to invest upfront on different devices, such as an iPod, to play music. Afterwards, I’d have to buy songs and albums, either physically or digitally, to load onto to said device just to have music to play. If I wasn’t using a device, then I would listen to music on different digital platforms. The only caveat was that those services had ads sprinkled in between every couple of songs and limited the number of times you could skip tracks.
Spotify solves this by allowing users to try out their platform free for up to three months. After the trial period is over, users can choose among four different subscriptions plans based on their financial and personal needs. After I finished my free trial, I realized that it was worth every penny to have a Premium account. I love not having to deal with ads and listening to as many songs I want in a given session.
Spotify revolutionized the music industry and it revolutionized how I listen to music by streamlining my music listening experience, making it fun and easy to discover new music, and easing the financial burden of consuming music. I look fondly on the time before Spotify, but I don’t want to go back. I’m excited by Spotify’s progress thus far and I look forward to seeing how Spotify continues to innovate and push the boundaries of experiencing music and media.