Spotify is everywhere, but Spotify isn’t for everybody. The music streaming service can now be accessed through your laptop, your smartphone, your Bluetooth speaker, and your Smart TV, but it isn’t accessible everywhere and isn’t loved by everyone. Even if you can access Spotify from your geographical location, there might be a few reasons that you choose not to use it.
The first reason why someone might choose not to use Spotify is that their favorite artist or artists aren’t on there. Spotify has been criticized many times in recent years for sharing too little of its revenue with the artists who make the songs that its business relies upon, and some of those artists – Taylor Swift and Radiohead included – have removed their music from Spotify in the past. Spotify tried to solve the problem by making the music of some performers accessible only to its paying subscribers, but as a result, the listeners who have to put up with adverts to hear the music get a drastically reduced range.
Another reason that people give the company a miss is the spate of data and privacy concerns that have been associated with it in the past. A security breach in 2009 resulted in usernames and passwords being accessed, and this was followed by a malware attack that arrived through adverts appearing on Spotify in 2011. A further hack attack happened in 2014, and so some users took a ‘three strikes, and you’re out’ approach after that point.
Many people love Spotify and use it every day, but has plenty of competition. At its core, the service it provides is similar to the service successfully provided by thousands of online slots websites all over the world – a huge collection of entertainment options that appeal directly to the interests of its users, all conveniently located under one roof. There are even UK Online Slots that feature some of the music of the artists that you’ll find on Spotify, making the comparison complete! Even the biggest and best online slots websites have rivals, though, and these are the biggest rivals to Spotify’s market dominance right now.
If Apple doesn’t already provide Spotify with the stiffest competition it faces in the marketplace right now, it will do so in the very near future. The company has just announced plans to start offering the service in an additional 52 countries, and many of them are countries where Spotify has, until now, held a monopoly. At the time of writing, the platform contains fifty million songs – a number that rises all the time – and also features platform-specific exclusive programming. Spotify allows users to share and upload their own podcasts and news shows, but Apple broadcasts shows of its own making. It isn’t free, but ten dollars per month is about the going rate for an offering of this size, and most of its users feel that it’s worth the money.
It feels like there isn’t any part of your life that Amazon doesn’t want to become part of, and music isn’t an exception to that statement. Just as Amazon Prime is stealing in on Netflix’s share of the video streaming market, Amazon Music is stealing a march on Spotify. One factor that goes heavily in its favor is that if you’ve got Amazon Prime, you’ve also got Amazon Music by default at no extra cost. It may not offer any more choice than Spotify does, and it can’t do anything that Spotify can’t, but you’d be pushed to get Spotify Premium as part of a television subscription package. Amazon might eventually gain supremacy in the music market just by virtue of Prime subscriptions alone. Even if you buy it as a standalone, eight dollars per month isn’t much to pay.
We all know that YouTube isn’t really the best place to listen to music – the sound quality just doesn’t allow for that to be the case. It doesn’t stop millions of people from using it as a music player anyway, though, and that’s how music videos end up getting over one billion views on the platform. YouTube resisted getting involved in the music streaming business for a long time, but it’s now got both of its feet in the water with YouTube Music. The biggest advantage of taking a subscription with YouTube compared with just using the free version is that you can listen to songs in the background, or with a tab closed. That isn’t possible on your phone with the standard YouTube player. It still doesn’t do anything Spotify can’t do, though.
SoundCloud used to be a place where unsigned bands uploaded their songs, and bedroom DJs uploaded their mixes. It was a niche interest website and was mostly only used by musicians. Things have changed since those days. SoundCloud can now be used and accessed by any music lover for the exact same reason you’d use Spotify, and the most recent SoundCloud app is extremely user friendly. The downside is that you won’t get as many songs on here from well-known artists as you will elsewhere. SoundCloud is a great place to find the next big up-and-coming band or singer, but you’re unlikely to find anyone who’s got millions of sales under their belt already. Perhaps this is the one to go for if you’re trying to find something new to listen to.
We’d be interested to see what happened if one of Spotify or Deezer decided to sue the other for copyright infringement. The platforms look the same, have similar user interfaces, and most of the same songs. French-owned platform Deezer has more songs available on its free tier than Spotify does, though, and that will be a driving factor for a significant number of people. A library of 56 million songs is enough to last you a lifetime, but there are still more being added every day of every month. A premium mode exists, but even that comes cheaper than the Spotify equivalent. We’re going to call Deezer a budget version of Spotify, and we mean that as a compliment.
The most important thing for music lovers is music, and it always will be. Where you listen to that music is of secondary importance. If you’ve been worried about how Spotify handles your data or you dislike the way it pays (or doesn’t pay) artists, though, the companies we’ve named above are worth your consideration if you’re thinking about taking your subscription money somewhere else.