YouTube & Video

Spotify Has Users “By The Balls.” Users Disagree.

image from Sean Parker spoke about Spotify at The Daily Beast's conference. Rather candidly, Parker explained that the war on piracy has been a failure and that the answer to it is Spotify. He says that once users become addicted to their music libraries they will want to bring these songs with them on the go and this is when they are most likely to get fans to subscribe to the service.

He claims, in this sense, that he will have users "by the balls". One commenter quickly disputed Parker's claims, saying, "The war on music piracy is a failure alright. But so is his thinking." They argue that fans are in control now. If artists want fans to buy music from them, they will have to make it better than piracy.

Spotify will not force users to fork over money because their songs are locked onto their desktop. That is the main point that everyone seems to be missing they say, the fans have Spotify and the music industry by the balls. Yet they Spotify thinks it is the other way around. Take a look at Sean Parker's talk:

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  1. Convenience and accessibility with something that costs no money upfront and is locked onto a desktop unless a listener wants to pay so they can listen to it on their iPod or iPhone or take it with them
    As a consumer why even bother with all that hassle when I can download it for free via a P2P network and do whatever I want with the music. Why pay for a dependent music subscription model when I can get autonomy for free?

  2. What he is saying is partially true, but Spotify hasn’t got anyone by the b@!!s. Yet.
    In fact, I think it is the Record labels that have Spotify by the b@!!s.

  3. I think people are taking the “by the balls” comment a bit too seriously. It was a poorly worded point he was making, but the point was good nonetheless.

  4. Your comment seems to indicate that you haven’t spent much time using the service nor downloading files.
    The accessibility of Spotify is one thing. Downloading files places them on one physical device, whereas with Spotify, you simply need to login to your account to access your library, regardless of which computer (or should I say device) you are using.
    Sure you can copy the music to your other computers (like your desktop at work) or setup some streaming daemon and unblock your firewall ports, but that’s not exactly convenient and can be a daunting task. Apart from saving space and potentially reducing costs of hard drive space needed etc, there is also the convenience aspect of not needing to deal with all the issues regarding quality and needed organizing of pirated content.
    Not having to spend time on finding working (audio)-files, which does not have jitters, are complete, are of even quality – that meets your demand, in a format that works for your device, are properly tagged, have album art and are organized in a simple manner.
    I am not saying all P2P-downloads are of poor quality, but avoiding spending time on this sort of “organizing”, and being able to forget all about it is a huge convenience.

  5. I agree with Chiwuzie Sunday. I think that once again, the Record Labels are in the driving seat, and have Spotify by the balls, but in a rather incestuous way, since they own part of Spotify!
    Spotify are not fighting piracy, they’re a commercial enterprise, trying to make money off of their music application. They can only do that with Major label support.
    When I realised that I was paying Spotify 120 EUR to listen to about 6,000 tracks and that Spotify was paying me 6 EUR for 6,000 plays of my music I started to wonder how much of my 120 EUR was actually going to the artists I like.
    My conclusion, I’m quitting Spotify and removing my music.
    If anyone’s interested, you can read my blog post on the subject here.

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