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Google, Apple & The Battle For Your Ears
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MFeibus
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MFeibus,
User Rank: Strategist
8/4/2014 | 2:19:19 PM
Re: Spotify: Why sell?
Many of the stakeholders who actually work at Spotify would prefer to stay the course. But a lot of Spotify's backing comes from venture funds, which stand to make orders of magnitude return on their investments. It's not uncommon for VC folks to cash in at this juncture and invest the returns in another early-stage venture that might turn them another crazy profit. 

@Thomas: There are really two issues here. The first is where the content resides. I also happen to prefer music and video to be in-hand, whenever possible. But I think there's a place for both. The collections at Spotify and NetFlix will always be bigger than mine. And when something comes up suddenly, there's no substitute for on demand.

The second issue is who decides what you listen to, you or someone (or something) else. In general, I prefer to choose what Spotify plays rather than listen to, say, Pandora, which is a more radio-like experience. But again, there are is a place for both. That's why FM radio is still around.

The cost models are also very different, which is why we'll continue to see radio-style offerings. Pandora is free, if you're willing to listen to ads and live with a handicapped fast-forward button. 

Shane: I'm a big Spotify user, too. Google wouldn't be able to do much to Spotify - at least at first. So it would probably start by leveraging the additional insight Spotify brings about what we like and don't like. That might manifest itself as offers for concert tickets from Google Now, for example. 

Both Facebook and Google could leverage their advertising engines - at least with the free users. That won't fly with paying customers, obviously. I agree that Spotify would be a great fit for Facebook. But FB made a couple of big bets this year already in Oculus Rift and WhatsApp. I don't know if it has the appetite for another multi-billion-dollar move.
moonwatcher
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moonwatcher,
User Rank: Strategist
8/2/2014 | 8:06:05 PM
Spotify: Why sell?
Spotify apparently makes money with their current model. Do they need to sell out to some Internet giant? Other than making a quick buck (which might be tempting of course) what would be in it for them? Spotify works well. And if and when their paid subscription audio quality equals that of the old MOG (that Beats bought out which was then acquired by Apple), I'll probably switch to them. Why does every internet service have to become wrapped up in Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo? If a service is good enough, why can't it make it on its own? Apple could have launched their own "Apple Streaming" service instead of blowing $3 Billion on Beats. In the days of Jobs, they would have done so. 
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
8/2/2014 | 6:34:29 AM
Re: Spotify up for grabs?
I am with you, Thomas. I prefer to download those large multimedia clips to local and enjoy them instead of using streaming. There is always diffrent factors affecting it - network fluctuation, etc. So the effect may be disturbed from time to time. This is hard to control from device side.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/1/2014 | 7:40:25 PM
Re: Spotify up for grabs?
I must be an anachronism. I prefer to listen to songs that reside on my phone, without streaming. I feel the same way about movies, which frequently look grainy when streamed. I always download to TiVo rather than streaming if I can.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/1/2014 | 5:34:07 PM
Spotify up for grabs?
Mike, I'm a huge Spotify user and wonder how, or if, it would change if acquired by Google. And also, do you think Facebook would make a bid for Spotify? The two are already integrated with sign-in and share features. Why wouldn't Facebook try to buy it outright?
moonwatcher
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moonwatcher,
User Rank: Strategist
8/1/2014 | 2:25:49 PM
The Battle For Our Ears
I just hope they don't screw it up. Beats took MOG and messed it up, making it hard to find specific albums and tracks, and especially new releases. Spotify has a better user interface. The only thing keeping me on Beats is that their audio quailty, a holdover from MOG, is better than the others. It is ridiculous to have to go to Spotify to find the new releases, then look them up in Beats. Curated B.S.? I don't care for it. I want to choose what I want to hear, not some infernal D.J. or machine algorithm. If I'm going to do that I might as well listen to terrestial radio.

I'm not sure about the "herd mentality". Music is far more personal than even video. My friends listen to crap that I don't want to hear. And who cares what is "popular"? Stupid, inane things become "popular". Doesn't mean I want to listen to it.


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