Spotify – to be or not to be pro

I must admit that as a Spotify (free) user I eagerly anticipated the release of their iPhone app and was fairly certain that I’d upgrade to a Pro account when it comes out. Now the app has been out for quite a while and I still haven’t made the plunge.

A Pro account doesn’t cost all that much, only 9,99€ – which is about half the price of an album on CD. As such, for the amount of music available it isn’t too much since I already by an album or two every month (if not more). Of course there are technical reasons why the iPhone app isn’t so tempting after all, but a large part of my procrastinating comes from the fact that a lot of the music I like isn’t available on Spotify (smaller and older Finnish bands for example).

Spotify is a great source for music discovery and for listening to various music at work (I don’t need to sync mp3s to work from home). And many a band has found their way to my buy albums list because of the chance to listen to their work on Spotify.

Reading the recent post by Mokoma on FaceBook (via) on the amount they receive for a hundred album plays on Spotify clarified my stance. I’d much rather pay more for an album knowing that the artist receives more money from it – especially when I know that very few albums around are ones that I’d listen to a hundred times anytime soon. I’m also starting to understand why Johann Kustannus pulled their catalog from Spotify.

As a slightly off-topic ramble, I wonder if there are any albums that I’ve listened to a hundred times. From the albums I have a few might be close (Dream Theater’s Images and Words and Steve Vai’s Passion and Warfare) since they both predate mp3s and large libraries of songs to shuffle. I’ve also had both albums for over 15 years.

What I’d still like to know is the difference in revenue the band gets from online sales (e.g. iTunes) and traditional CD sales (full price). The cheaper price of album sales through iTunes is tempting since I could basically buy two albums for the price of one. On the other hand the bonus CDs and such are also tempting…

I also know that I’d like to see Spotify stick around since it is a great tool for music exploration and getting to know bands and artists. And yes, it does do bad things to my buy albums list.

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