Tag Archives: Spotify

Tuition Costs Suck, But College Students can Save on a Spotify + Hulu Bundle

The cost of college can be expensive, but the cost of streaming unlimited music, movies and TV is now more affordable for U.S college students than you would think. Just recently Spotify joined forces with the TV streaming service, Hulu, in hopes to gain more subscribers on both platforms, and create a new partnership.

spotify huluOn September 7th, these two different entertainment platforms officially opened up their brand-new deal, $4.99 a month for access to both Spotify and Hulu, for U.S college students only. This bundle is the same price for regular Spotify, but now you get Hulu added on for free through this new offer. Both companies continue to have their own separate apps, so there will be no technology integration, where you would see Hulu suggestions within Spotify’s app. So, in a sense, yes they are bundled together, but each still operates completely separated from the other.

In the past, Spotify has tried to push their original videos into the spotlight and grab their listener’s attention. But if you watch one of their original short episodes, you would understand why nobody would sign up to Spotify strictly to watch any of these episodes. It has long since abandoned those plans for combining music and TV. With this new plan with Hulu, Spotify may not need to start from scratch on their TV channel idea. We could be seeing something big in the near future with these two platforms partnership that has already been created.

SpotifyThe landscape in the music streaming business can be very competitive. When you look at the number of subscribers for Spotify (60 million) and Apple Music (27 million), however, you can see that this entertainment bundle is only going to increase their numbers and widen the gap between their competition. Apple hasn’t announced anything about what they might potential do in reaction towards this new bundle.

Hulu’s plan in all of this is to hopefully gain a larger number of subscribers and make a habit of students continuing to use Hulu after they graduate college. By getting access to Hulu for free, students will get introduced to streaming TV and will hopefully enjoy the experience and want to keep Hulu. On the other hand, Spotify is trying to do a similar strategy. Students get half price to Spotify premium, but once they graduate it goes back to normal price. Spotify is hoping to draw in those students at a cheap price and access to Hulu and keep them once they graduate. Spotify is paying for all the advertising and digital promotion, while Hulu doesn’t have to pay anything. But Hulu is not getting any revenue by letting Spotify subscribers gain access to their streaming network.

With such a low cost, college students can get the perfect entertainment bundle with music and TV streaming ability. We will see if these two companies continue to share their networks and advance their market to more than just U.S college students. This entertainment bundle is nothing like we have seen before, and we will see if it works out for both Spotify and Hulu.

-Nick Langel

Spotify: Who’s the Real Enemy?

Music is the most universally emotional device in the world. Whether it’s a first world country full of technology or a tribe of indigenous people with a bunch of handmade drums, music plays a role in their culture. There’s something about music that allows people to connect to emotions. Whenever I’m feeling nostalgic, I put on The Early November.

With that being said, it’s obvious that the music industry is a multibillion-dollar industry. But the question remains, how do these companies get music into the listener’s hands? Since there is so much money involved, the market is plenty saturated. The mainstream methods of my youth were CDs. One would go to their local Sam Goody, Hastings, or Best Buy and pick up the album of an up and coming artist on a Tuesday. However, that has changed drastically.

spotify streamingIn 1999, Napster was created to allow anyone to file-share music. Due to the legal infractions on copyright, it didn’t last long. Fast-forward to 2006, Spotify was founded. Rather than file sharing, Spotify allows listeners to stream music on an ad-based platform or pay up to $9.99 for an ad-free listening experience on the go with access through smartphones.

This seemed like a great outlet for artists to get exposure through digital distribution and to make a little money on the side. You can find pretty much any song from any artist on there. However, there have been mixed reviews about whether or not this is good for the music industry.

Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify last year. She believes that Spotify is robbing artists of money and squashing creativity. Swift told Business Insider, “I’m always up for trying something. And I tried it and I didn’t like the way it felt. I think there should be an inherent value placed on art.” She went on to explain that streaming has greatly decreased the amount of money artists can make.

Spotify DownloadDaniel Ek, CEO of Spotify feels differently about their distribution model. Ek explained in an article that “Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work.” He continued stating that the real enemy is piracy. Piracy is how listeners are stealing from artists. Spotify has paid out $2 billion dollars to artists since it’s inception. That’s compared to a whopping $0 that piracy has contributed.

Victory recordsIt’s clear that Spotify has paid out artists compared to other venues like Pirate Bay. But there is some shady stuff going on. Last week, I was feeling nostalgic again and I tried to pull up Hawthorne Heights to only find that it has been removed from Spotify. In anger and frustration, I began to blame Victory records for removing their artists from Spotify.

After a little digging, I found that Spotify is allegedly the one to blame at this point. The record label was quoted in a Rolling Stone article saying, “Victory Records’ catalog of music was pulled from Spotify last night [Monday] as a result of Spotify not properly paying publishing revenues due to Victory Records’ artists in blatant violation of US Copyright laws.” However, it came out that Victory records is not paying their artists and holding all the profit. Spotify will likely resolve this issue with Victory Records once they make some form of agreement to pay out artists properly.

The way people are receiving content whether it is movies or music is evolving into a streaming method. Ek said Spotify is not only streaming, but mainstreaming. It will affect content creators regardless, but is it wise to go against the grain? Ironically enough, the week after Taylor Swift pulled 1989 from Spotify, it was the number one downloaded album on Pirate Bay.

Peter Seifert

Is Spotify Good or Evil?

With over 50 million users across the globe, Spotify is the leader of all of the online music streaming services. Spotify has had an increase in profits but has also had an increase in loss. The New York Times reported that Spotify earned $1.3 Billion dollars in 2014, a 45% increase from the previous year.

Spoify logoBut along with the increase in revenue Spotify also lost a total of $197 million dollars, more than the $68 million that they had lost the year before. Spotify blamed the loss of revenue on the employee hiring that they had done that year stating that they had hired 958 new employees.

As the leading music streaming site it is important for Spotify to have popular artists so that they can increase the number of paid subscribers to help increase their revenue. The only issue is that Spotify pays artists .00068 cents per stream. While plays keep adding up it can lead up to quite a large sum of money but not as much money as if people had actually bought the music.

Time Magazine reported on how much the top songs were making. Calvin Harris’ song “Summer” made a total of $1.7 million dollars in 2014. It had a total of 203 million streams throughout the year. While to the common person that seems like a lot of money, artists have a completely different opinion.

Last November Taylor Swift made a giant splash right before her 1989 album release. Taylor Swift decided to take her music off of Spotify, saying:

“I felt like I was saying to my fans, ‘If you create music someday, if you create a painting someday, someone can just walk into a museum, take it off the wall, rip off a corner off it, and it’s theirs now and they don’t have to pay for it.’ I didn’t like the perception that it was putting forth. And so I decided to change the way I was doing things.”

taylor swift and spotifyTaylor Swift has a respectable opinion on it. Swift didn’t like her music being on Spotify because, “I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music.” Most people would agree with her, but some people would think that having her fans enjoy her music is better than her getting compensated for it.

Pirating has become such an issue with music over the past few years. Having your music on Spotify creates a little bit of revenue and it is better than receiving nothing for your music at all.

Even though Spotify may not be beneficial to mainstream artists it is however extremely beneficial for underground and local artists. It is really easy for underground and local music to be spread around. Artists can put their music up for free and can be spread across by word of mouth. People can suggest a band and tell their friends that they are on Spotify and then that person can just whip out their phone and find them in the blink of an eye.

There are pros and cons of Spotify. A con would be that mainstream artists do not feel like they are being compensated. A pro is that it can be beneficial to not very well known artists. Maybe Spotify will increase the amount of money for ad free streaming to try and keep the popular artists there or maybe they will find something else. Will Spotify stay the top streaming site over the next couple of years?

Daniel Hampe

Daniel Ek And Spotify: Top Of The Game, But Still Wanting More

Daniel Ek is 31 years old. As college students, we are only a few years younger. But by the age of 31, Ek has developed Spotify, a powerful music streaming service that is not only the most convenient and vast, but is feeding the music industry millions upon millions of dollars.

Daniel EkEk’s path to captaining this juggernaut of the music streaming industry is not unlike other music service moguls, such as Sean Parker of Napster. Joining forces with Parker, Ek was caught up in the “pirate band” of the mid-2000s. The problem with this craze was that it was not at all legal.

Spotify is different. Using advertisements and paid subscriptions (no more than $10 a month), they can effectively pay artists royalties depending on the amount of plays each song gets. Some artists such as Thom Yorke and Taylor Swift (who recently had all of her tracks removed from the service) believe Spotify hurts the industry greatly, but since all artists are welcome, it can be a great tool for artist exposure.

The growth of Spotify in the last few years is astounding. Available in over 50 countries, it is an international force that brings in all kinds of revenue. Artists are being paid millions of dollars. But Ek still wants more. “I’m an impatient guy, so while we’ve added almost 30 countries, we want to move faster and get the industry back to growth again.”

Although artists, critics and fans complain of the decline of the music industry as a whole, there’s no doubt that the growth of Spotify has propelled it past a number of highly touted competitors, such as Pandora. While Pandora is a glorified radio station, Spotify allows a vast and precise library for any user to browse. It even offers a radio function not unlike Pandora’s, allowing a great deal of user control and choices. This is all while Spotify pays out about 6 times more per track play than Pandora. But how could they possibly improve Spotify beyond catalog size and convenience?

Spotify Year in Music“We can take this technological shift, and move it from not just being about listening to music, to being about even how we create music. Because for me, music has always been constrained by the format it’s been on” stated Ek in an interview with Charlie Rose. I agree that with any music provider, no matter how much is available and how many options you have to do with it, it has not gone past being viewed as a utility, rather than a creative, interactive experience.

Interactivity is the next big step for Spotify gaining momentum with not only the utility of a music player, but the social aspect of music sharing and the creation of music. Ek can see it happening, and at such a young age, anything is possible with such a trailblazing visionary at the helm.

With any company, however, there are some questions that have to be answered in time. Will the royalty checks get any larger for artists? How will new creative features of Spotify work, and how will they be received?

Stay tuned, but more importantly, keep listening.

-Brendan Wood