More on all-you-can-eat music

More on the all-you-can-eat music subscription business model.

Robin Davey:

Most people only buy 1.5 albums a year because that is all they want. They don’t need unlimited access to everything. They like the two CDs they play over and over in the car. Or they just like listening to the singles. Albums are dead and have been for a long while. Spotify promises all the tracks from all the artists. People respond by just wanting that one new track by Katy Perry.

Reminds me of my brother who had a Rhapsody subscription but only listened to Bob Marley.

Spotify is my discovery platform. I listen to new stuff on Spotify and if I like it I buy it on iTunes. I buy less music because of Spotify. I have their free account. They never see a dime from me.

Besides no-risk discovery, Spotify adds nothing to music listening. Social features? Music isn’t better with friends. None of my friends like the music I like and they I don’t like the same music they do. We’re music snobs living in our own bubbles. Spotify has nothing to offer here.1

So do the math. If you’re spending less than $120 a year on recorded music you’d be better off just buying it from a digital retailer than you would be subscribing to a service and hoping the music you love doesn’t get pulled because of licensing.


  1. However, I think there is value in a follower model like Rdio has. I’m able to find people with similar tastes and see what they like. But this isn’t really any different than following them on Twitter or reading their blog and seeing their recommendations there. It’s just a little simpler.