Photo: Illustration: Ellis Hamburger
We think Spotify’s free service is the best there is right now.Why?
Because for the first six months you get all the music you can eat, for free. (Major caveats: You can’t listen to an individual track more than five times per month and you have to deal with a few ads.)
A lot of people made a big stink today when they realised Spotify requires users to have a Facebook account to sign up.
Yes, it would be wonderful if you could just create a free Spotify account without letting all your Facebook friends know what you’re listening to.
But, as the saying goes, nothing in life is free. Spotify requires payment in the form of blasting your activity to your Facebook friends*, with the hope that they’ll sign up too.
It ain’t cheap for Spotify to legally provide access to its library of 15 million songs. It needs a massive user base to listen to the ads that help pay for the service.
That means Spotify has no choice but to ask you to sign up using the largest social network in the world, giving it access to potentially hundreds of millions of new subscribers.
At last count, Spotify has about 10 million users worldwide. Only about 2 million of those are paid subscribers, according to CEO Daniel Ek. That leaves 8 million others getting all the music they want for free.
And the company is ambitious. Some leaked marketing materials from this summer show that Spotify hopes to snag as many as 50 million users in the U.S. within the first year.
It can’t do that without Facebook.
*If you really, really don’t want your friends to see your Spotify activity, you can always crank up your privacy settings to block the app from sharing anything.
If you’re still not convinced: Check out how awesome Spotify is when you use it with Facebook’s Open Graph >
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