Business · Music · Social media

Spotify’s Social Problem

Music fans everywhere listen to music online. Since my phone is so smart, I can listen to my saved Spotify playlists at home and I can share YouTube playlists with friends.

As the Internet allows us to share our opinions, find our communities, and gain heretofore unexplored access to vast libraries of information, the trend for companies is towards interactivity. The addage “content is king” didn’t just show up one day. It evolved with technological abilities and sophisticated understanding of algorighms and statitistics.

What seems to be missing is the combination of music platform / social media.

Music is a social medium.

Music, unlike some other art forms (i.e. painting) is usually a part of some sort of direct or indirect social interaction.One man playing his guitar on stage interacts with his audience; an informal BBQ jam session results in an audience, musicians, and the interaction between the two. Even listening to music through your headphones involves more than one person.Geeking out with others over good / bad / ugly music has long been a favorite pasttime for the people (like me) who love the combination creativity and social interaction. There is something very human about sharing a thing of beauty with others. Music is only one of many vehicles to make this possible.

If You Build It; They Will Come

Brands are hurrying to create content tailored to their customer’s interests that will in turn drive traffic to their websites and passively drive sales. Customers want to feel connected to their favorite brands and if you can create a campaign that gets people on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook excited, you’ve really accomplished something.

Netflix and Amazon are creating their own TV shows (content) as a way to drive sales of their products (subscription to their service). This strategy is so successful that traditional media outlets are scrambling to keep up.

The most amazing part of this success is that the original content is created for these channels, and discussed elsewhere on social media. What more could a company hope for?

Things are changing quickly, but the Field of Dreams approach to entertainment seems to be very successful. It stands to reason that music streaming services who develop content appropriate for their brand image could be similarly successful.

Music + Social Media = Profit?

Music has had it rough since Metallica took on Napster in the 90’s. Social media, on the other hand has become so intertwined in our every day lives that even the most technologically oblivious grandmother knows what a “Facebook” is. Perhaps there are opportunities to be found?

Spotify’s desktop platform is great. I can create a playlist, learn about an artist, find tour dates, and look up the words to my favorite songs. YouTube playlists are a convenient and social way to listen to music. If I like a playlist; I can comment on, share with my friends, or even download it to enjoy later.

Why then is there such a wide gap between Facebook and Spotify?

The Internet changed everything. Unfortunately, one of the first casualties of this new invention was the music industry. If Spotify (or any other streaming service) can manage to tap into the already existent social aspects of enjoying music; they may be able to finally fix some of the financial issues plaguing creative industries by creating a community of (paying) members.


1. Are you active on Spotify? Me too!

2. Would you like to help make Spotify better? Get active on the forum!



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