Let's talk about Spotify

12 April 2022

Remember the days when you had to download your own songs and create your own playlists? I'm a millennial, so I remember this all too well. I used to commute to and from work and I couldn't do it without my trusted earphones and mp3 player filled with 2 GB worth of my favorite songs.

I rarely leave the house nowadays, but when I do I always have my trusted AirPods with me

The AirPods were J's gift to me for beating Covid-19 twice.

Listening to music used to be pretty damn expensive, but it’s become more affordable with the birth of music streaming services. While it wasn’t the first around, Spotify has quickly become synonymous with streaming. It’s by far the most popular of all music services around, but is it the best? 

More to the point, if you’re looking to listen to your favorite music, should you download Spotify or look elsewhere?

The Good

Spotify has always been impressive because it has such a huge music catalog. You can listen to pretty much any musician or band from any genre you can think of. There’s K-pop, rock n roll, drum & bass, rap, hip-hop, grime, latino music - the list is endless. So, in terms of sheer variety, Spotify is always at the top of the game. 


Alongside this, the mobile app is really easy for you to use and has a lot of extra features. For example, it curates playlists for you based on your listening habits. If you listen to a lot of K-pop, you’ll end up with playlists composed of similar songs. You even get recommended artists to try and find something new. But, one of the best playlist-related features is that you can ‘enhance’ your own playlists. Basically, put your fave songs in a playlist, then click enhance. A series of new additions will be added to the playlist based on the songs already in there. 


You can also download as much music for free as you want. Well, it’s free as in there’s no extra cost on top of your subscription fee. Plus, you can connect the mobile app to Bluetooth speakers and other devices with absolute ease, which is great if you want to blast your music as loud as possible. 


As if all this wasn’t enough, there is a free version available. This lets you listen to music, but you will have to deal with ads. Still, if you want a completely free music streaming option, this is definitely the best one around. 


All in all, there’s a lot to like about Spotify, but what should you be wary of?


The Bad

One of the worst things about this service is that it barely pays artists a penny. They get a tiny fraction for every song that gets played, so it’s perhaps not the best option if you want to support music artists. Instead, a service like Tidal is better because it specifically pays more to every artist on the platform. It even has a premium subscription service that costs twice as much as the standard one, but it pays 10% of your sub fee to your favorite artists every month. 


Speaking of subscriptions, Spotify has a lot of them. This can be good as you have lots of variety, but it’s also bad as they are all pretty expensive. They keep on hiking the prices up year by year too, so it’s harder for a lot of people to avoid their ideal service. Now, there are ways to learn how to get Spotify cheaper - such as using a VPN - which could eliminate the price as an issue. 


There is also one other minor problem that might affect some people. Spotify doesn’t have a HiFi option for fans right now. Some of the other big streaming services already provide this, meaning fans can listen to their favorite music in the highest quality possible. If you’re obsessed with listening to high-quality audio, Spotify might not be the best option for you right now. 


Verdict: Spotify is probably still the best for most people

Despite the drawbacks and bad aspects of Spotify, it still seems like the best option for the majority of people. Yes, it kind of sucks that they pay artists such a small amount of money. However, you can compensate for this by actually paying for albums or singles if you want to support an artists. Or, you can pay to see them live - basically, you can find other ways to support them beyond Spotify. Plus, you have to recognize the coverage that smaller artists can get through this massive streaming service. Spotify often recommends smaller bands and artists to people, letting musicians be discovered. 


All in all, if you love listening to music and want to know which streaming service to choose,  Spotify is the safest option. It has the biggest music catalog, some great features, and it really helps you get a personalized experience. 

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