It's nearly time for war - but who's going to win?
In what looks like a bid to retain customers in the wake of Beats’ imminent entry to the music streaming scene, Spotify are preparing to open up their mobile streaming platform to all of their customers for free.
Spotify are tooling up for all out war
Spotify sent out invites to an event occurring on December 11th on December 3rd. “We’re having a media event. Like to come? There will be donuts,” is all it said, but since then, Tech Crunch confirmed that unveiling will centre around limited free mobile access.
It probably won’t quite match their £9.99 premium service, which allows for Spotify to be taken anywhere, but in a new age of streaming capabilities and widespread smartphone use, the company had to loosen their payment plans to gulp in a wave of new users before Dre and his Beats get involved.
The music mogul is ready to take his Beats headphone franchise into the music streaming market in January, and given the success he had, even while breaking into an incredibly saturated niche, suggests his new venture has the legs to take on Spotify. "Right now, these things are all utilities. It's give me your credit card, here's 12 million songs, good luck..." said Jimmy Iovine - CEO of Beats Electronics - of the streaming service.
"We have an entire generation that was brought up on sound being inferior, and sound is the only conduit for emotion that we have. We've had ten very bad years in the audio industry. So we want the best possible quality, and it will have global scale. So it will be a balance of those things." (Guardian)
So with battle set to commence in the streaming wars, Spotify and Beats aren’t the only players. The recently launched Google music will be vying for your monthly payments, while Pandora remains a huge player in the American market.
But in March, Spotify said it had surpassed 6 million subscribers - a gain of 1 million since December, whicn makes it the fastest-growing digital music company ever and second in reach only to Pandora. What could prove vital for Beats in is that both of those services are heavily burdened by expensive licensing costs.
Recently, in a bid to open up their service to musicians, considering many are angry and confused as to what they actually get from having their music on their, Spotify enabled analytics, giving artists a chance to gain an insight on the true reach of their work.
"The position we take is look, we know Spotify is not perfect for all artists yet, but this is the theory behind it, this is where we are, and this is where we're going," Mark Williamson, director of artist services at Spotify, told The Guardian ahead of the launch.
"With any format change in music – CD and iTunes included – there's a lot of confusion around how these different models work, and quite often some serious scepticism. We understand that's out there, so we want to be as clear and transparent as we possibly can explaining how Spotify fits in."
2014 looks set to be the year of the music streamers
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