Spotify Thoughts

I’ve been paying for Spotify for quite a while now.

I probably use it enough for the payment to be worth it, and it also allows me to use it on my iPhone and iPad, both of which can be useful.

However I also chose to pay for it because I wanted to play a small part in helping Spotify to send a message to the music industry - namely that a micro-payment or subscription style financial model can work and will earn them money.

Unfortunately, I’m beginning to wonder whether Spotify are making any headway with that particular debate.

I’ve always put up with the fact that a lot of the more obscure acts that I like are missing from their catalogue - for example everything by King Crimson. I think that the artists that ban their content from Spotify are fundamentally misguided, especially those who do so in the belief that it will direct people to their own websites or streaming solutions. The main effect it’s had on me is that I simply listen to less of their music, and instead listen to new acts that I’ve discovered on something like LastFM and then found to be available on Spotify.

Recently though, some music that I’d found this way has been removed. Not having access to some rock monster like Led Zeppelin is one thing, but when new and relatively obscure music (e.g the excellent Gavin Harrison and 05ric album, which I’d been enjoying listening to), suddenly disappears, I do have to start questioning whether I want to continue paying for this service.

The 2004 album Marbles by Marillion has also gone, as has music by Sidsel Endresen and Elvind Aarset. These artists aren’t exactly household names in the UK, and one has to wonder what is going through the minds of the people making the decision to remove them. It’s quite possible that they weren’t supposed to be available in the first place, but frankly I don’t care - I just see music that I liked vanishing from what was a good service, reducing it’s value in my eyes.

Very frustrating! I’m tempted to look for an alternative service, but I can’t help feeling that it’s probably the music publishers that are the problem, and so I may have the same experience elsewhere.