As a Swede, Spotify is, of course, my primary music source. This is the case for just about everyone you’ll meet here. The reason varies of course, but early availability in Sweden (compared to other music services), great range of Swedish music, and nationalistic pride, are my guesses to what a survey would say. Based on this we tend to overestimate both the size and impact of Spotify, which is why I find it so interesting now that Apple Music is launching.
With a pre-installed app shipped with every iPhone, together with the credit card information of the user, Apple Music will be only one click away for almost every iPhone user. This is the big leverage that Apple has, because the claim that Music will change music as we know it, is nothing more than marketing in my opinion. With this Apple is playing catch-up, not launching a revolutionary service. The harsh truth though is that Spotify is tiny counted in users compared to sold iPhones which means that even if a very small percentage takes the offer of three free months… Apple will be back as a dominant force in the music business shortly.
So what speaks for Spotify? The users they have might not be to keen to switch to a service that is possibly as good, exporting playlists isn’t that fun. There’s also the always present “comfort” of what you already know, people in general are not too fond of change, on the other hand if it’s easy enough to switch that might balance it out. One interesting thing that many observers seem to forget is that this is not the first major player to take a stab at Spotify. Google launched its own streaming music service with much of the same fanfare and talk of revolution a couple of years back. Ships with many Android phones, have a lot of credit cards on file but…I know of very few people in the US or otherwise that use it as their primary service. Apple is more of a brand when it comes to music and has a stronger eco system, so in my opinion they will be a stronger competitor than Google but it’s interesting how comparable their entry on the streaming music market was.
Time will tell, but my feeling is that Spotify will live on (or be bought, Google? Yahoo? Who knows.) for the foreseeable future but will have a much harder time continuing to grow.
If you understand Swedish you can see me talk about this on Aftonbladet Morgon here: http://tv.aftonbladet.se/abtv/articles/81570