Streaming heavyweight Spotify has a long way to fall with the announcement of Apple Music. We recap on what the veteran service has to offer.
In the lead up to Apple Music’s launch, we’ve been comparing each music streaming service side-by-side, so when June 30 rolls around you’ll know for sure which service suits you best.
Launched back in 2008 by Swedish startup Spotify AB, the world’s first (popular) music streaming service took only two years to hit 10 million users worldwide (of which, a quarter were paid). Just over a year later, Spotify managed to double those numbers with 20 million users registered and 5 million paying customers.
Spotify’s success has only been on the rise. In June 2015, Spotify announced that it now has over 75 million active users, with 20 million paid accounts. How those numbers will fare after Apple Music’s launch is anyone’s guess, but they’re bound to take a hit.
What are Spotify’s features?
Spotify has long reigned supreme and not without reason. Unlike Pandora, the 'other' popular streaming service, Spotify went down the route of on-demand streaming, meaning you can choose the tracks you want to play, rather than a mixed bag of related songs. Below are the many features that made Spotify the streaming goliath it is today.
Spotify’s instant music collection
This feature is what solidified Spotify as the number one music streaming service. Unlike Pandora, which randomises music selections, Spotify instead houses an epic collection (of over 30 million tracks) for you to pick and choose from at your leisure. Spotify creates a gateway between your iPhone or Android and one of the largest music collections in the world. Though it’s not an entirely faultless service, Spotify essentially renders your CD collection or mp3 library useless.
Listen your way with customised playlists
Unlimited music anywhere, anytime is certainly one of Spotify’s biggest draws, but at the heart of its success are the customised playlists. Spotify has a huge community who love to get involved in creating niche playlists for just about every listener. Feel like rocking out with your hair down to the biggest tracks of the 90s? There’s a playlist for that. Want to relive 2010’s Triple J Hottest 100? There’s a playlist for that too. The possibilities are endless, whether it’s a genre, movie soundtrack, era or just a general theme, there’s likely to be just the playlist you’re looking for — if there’s not, you can create one yourself.
Share your Spotify discoveries with a friend — or even better, the world
Another fantastic thing about Spotify, is that it not only allows you to instantly stream a massive library of songs but also facilitates discovery of lesser known acts. When trawling through the endless mix of playlists, you’re bound to hit a gold mine of undiscovered talent. And whenever you do, Spotify offers a number of ways you can share the love for your latest obsession. Upload tracks to your Spotify profile, add them to an existing playlist, or even send them directly to your mates over Facebook. When you’re in the mood for some fresh beats, simply pop over and see what your friends are listening to — just don’t try to tell them that you got there first, music fanatics are very precious about their “discoveries”.
Better yet, if you are a muso, you can upload your tracks straight to Spotify and self-promote through that platform.
Add your own trizzacks (tracks)
Spotify doesn’t just leave your old records in the dust, it integrates them as part of the Spotify family. Do you own that rare Pantera: Driven Down Under collection? Or maybe a bunch of b-side tracks that aren’t readily available to purchase. Never fear, you can import your entire music collection, CD, mp3 or otherwise into Spotify’s app, allowing you to stream seamlessly between your personal collection and Spotify’s library.Back to top
How much does Spotify cost?
Spotify has a free and a paid version, below are the different packages.
- Spotify Supports advertisements between songs and is limited to six skips a day for free
- Spotify Premium Free of advertisements, unlimited skips, premium sound quality (320kbps) and offline listening at $11.99
- For families, there is a Spotify Family package that offers Spotify Premium for up to 6 users for $17.99
Is Spotify compatible with my device?
Spotify is available on a vast range of computers, tablets and smartphones. Below is the complete list of compatible devices:
- iPhone 4 or above
- iPod Touch 4th generation or above
- iPad 2 or above
- Android Smartphone or Tablet (Any device that runs Android 4.0.2 or above)
- Windows Phone (with Windows Phone 8 or above)
- Mac (OS X 10.7 or above)
- Windows (XP with Service Pack 3 or above)
- Playstation 3 and 4
What is Spotify Connect?
Spotify Connect is a service inbuilt in many stereos, speakers, laptops and TVs that allows you to easily stream Spotify, using the smartphone as a remote. Below are a list of devices with Spotify Connect.
- Amazon Fire Stick
- Amazon Fire TV
- Argon iNet3+
- Argon Stream 2
- AWOZ StriimLight WiFi
- Bang & Olufsen A9
- Bose SoundTouch 20
- Cambridge AudioStream Magic6
- Clint Asgard
- Denon Heos
- Denon X3100W AVR
- Libratone Diva
- LG Music Flow
- Philips Smart TV
- Roberts Radio iStream 2
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Apple is possibly the most daunting competition you could possibly imagine, but with Spotify’s years of experience, affiliated hardware partners and massive fan base, they won’t go down without a fight.
With a freshly announced 'Rewind' feature (which “imagines” the tracks you would have enjoyed had you lived through a different era), a redesigned logo (that’s driving people nuts) and a Hillary Clinton’s Official 2016 Campaign playlist (...yep), it’s clear that a fight is exactly what Spotify are giving their latest competitor.