Monday, 22 June 2009

Spotify starts the long march to justify charging

I'm a huge fan of Spotify and am loving what it's doing to the music industry - turning the whole access vs ownership debate on its head. I also love the fact that it's free.

Of course, they run a paid for service, at a tenner a month, and it was always seen that the only tangible benefit being removal of ads. Until now.

Spotify are finally starting to justify charging for what is essentially a free service, minus the odd funny ad for Suitopia. This week they announced that those who've stumped up the cash will get a higher bit rate encode - 320 kps Ogg stream, instead of 160 kps, as well as a number of new benefits to be announced / rolled out soon.

This announcement is ripe for fuelling another timely debate - that of the ISPs and bandwidth. With everyone bitching about BBC's iPlayer drinking up as much bandwidth as they can throw, now that Spotify is essentially supplying a double thick stream of audio, how long before the ISO bandwidth complainers have them in their sites too.

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