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Let's All Spotify
By: Cristina Menendez
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Trending lately are the buzzwords “cloud,” “cloud-based mobile,” “cloud music service” and/ or “cloud based platform” among many other terms. But first, let’s discuss Spotify instead of the “cloud” marketing buzzwords of the moment (which, by the way, are not new —we’ve been using “cloud” services for several years, such as Gmail, Picasa, Pandora, Netflix, and many others).

Spotify launched in Europe in 2008. The concept of streaming music through the Internet is not new, but the actual Swedish-based brand is. It came to the states last month (July 2011) and has surpassed several other cloud music services in users. In one month it has managed to get 1.4 million users, and that’s by invitation only!   

Why Spotify? There are so many other cloud music services out there; take Amazon or Pandora (which is more like a radio) for example. Perhaps it’s because you can search for almost any song/album/artist, instantly find it, and instantaneously listen to the entire song and/or album. It's user friendly, too; it has icons that help you search for different versions of songs and you can connect to your Facebook friends and share what you are listening to via Twitter and Delicious as well. It allows you to easily create playlists and star favorite songs. Spotify also offers an extensive amount of information about the artists and their albums. Furthermore, if you are not a music lover, you can find stand-up comedy, audio books, and podcasts the same way you would search for music. 

Going back to the buzzwords for services we’ve had for several years: How will cloud-service companies like Spotify remain competitive in today’s ever-changing market? One solution: marketers are creating buzzwords to give the impression that something is a new technology or a new concept, when it’s really just a word that was used to describe an image (techies drew a "cloud" to describe the Internet).

Spotify is currently offering a service with only a few interruptions from their advertisers (for free service; premium has no interruptions), but will it remain popular if it removes the free services it currently offers? The question is still to be determined. There is so much "cloud" competition that one begs to ask: Can it afford to not offer free services in order to gain premium members? Nevertheless, there are a few updates to its services that Spotify should consider. To begin with, they should offer the user musical choices based on their selection of music and starred songs and promote the fact that they have more than just music, among other technical updates.

So while the idea of Spotify is not new and cloud music service isn’t either, there is something to be said about the ingenuity of it all. That’s why marketers will always be around.  

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About the Author
Cristina Menendez is a jack of all trades and master of some. Film, music, fashion, and marketing are some of her passions. She hearts cooking and entertaining. Follow her on Twitter!
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