When Spotify finally became available in America last summer, millions of people rushed to sign up and get a taste of what everyone in Europe had already been reveling in since 2008. Cheap, unlimited music streaming was something sorely needed in the ever-changing landscape of the music industry. Although there were, and still are, high risks associated with downloading music illegally off the internet, people were doing it in increasing numbers and the appearance of Spotify was somewhat of a deterrent.
Spotify differs from its competitors, like Pandora, in the sense that it is not solely a radio service but has an extensive music library provided by both independent and major record labels that can be accessed through a quick search. And Spotify even allows its users to skip as many songs as they would like. Generally, only six months of unlimited listening are given to new users and after that, listening is limited to ten hours a month. For now though, even after the six month mark there is still unlimited listening in the States.
Unlike paying per song on iTunes, Spotify allows Unlimited ($4.99 a month) and Premium ($9.99 a month) to go unlimited again with a small monthly subscription. And if it just so happens that you want to buy the song on its own, there is an easy buy-it-now built in right next to the song.
So why is Spotify a better alternative to iTunes and illegal downloading? Because it meets in the middle of the needs and wants of the record labels and consumers. Avid music listeners may want to obtain an entire record to rack up their collection to incredulous proportions, but other people just want a few good tracks to pump them up at the gym. Other people just get bored of their music really quickly and are always looking for that something new and may not want to buy music they may only listen to a few times.
With Spotify, all of the aforementioned people can listen to the music they want without going over a budget or having to pick and choose between what they can or cannot buy. They're also not subjecting themselves to the serious consequences that may follow being caught illegally downloading content off of the internet.
There's nothing better than when everybody wins! So, if you've been debating whether it's worth it to download Spotify, just do it! It's completely free for U.S. users for now, so take advantage of being able to stream as much music as your heart desires while you still can.