Less money, more music

ANDREW MULLEN
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Popular music-streaming site Spotify decreases cost of premium account for college students

Digital music has become increasingly popular since the mass rotation and sale of devices like the iPod, and back in the day, the Zune. Since music has become so easily bought and stolen, physical copies of CD’s or vinyls are less prominent in dorm rooms and homes across the world. There have been many sites that have become faces for online radio, and are more widely used than even iTunes nowadays.
Spotify, Pandora, last.fm and bandcamp have become among the most well-known and widely used sources of online music. Each of these services uses a music genome program that matches the pace, rhythm, style and tone of the music station the user picks in order to randomize bands and songs to introduce new artists into the everyday library of the user.
These services are usually free. However, each services offers a premium memership which has add-ons that the free versions do not offer.
To give a quick rundown of the most popular sites and what they are and do, it is important to know that each has a website version, a desktop application and a mobile app. The mobile version of Spotify allows the use of radio and an artist shuffle, but not access to the playlists that can be saved and listened to anytime on a computer. Pandora is similar in that the mobile app is purely the radio function, but the browser offers a lot more functionality and preference-tweaking. Paying for a premium account, paying for it, allows the full services of Spotify to be accessed on a phone, anytime and anywhere.
However, nobody wants to pay money for music anymore. To remedy this, Spotify has bitten the bullet and acknowledged that college students are more likely to pirate music than they are to continue listening to advertisements on their radio station every few minutes. In order to bring in more users, Spotify has officially lowered their cost for the premium accounts from $10.00 a month to $5.00 for all college students. This discount will also apply to those who already have accounts at the full price.
To offer a service like Spotify for a cheaper price than just about any other popular music radio site is an excellent deal for most people. Considering that monthly fees can be dangerous for college students, since they can creep up at inopportune times, having the price be reduced by half is fantastic news. With a premium account, there are no ads, unlimited songs and music selections, the ability to take your music collection around on your mobile device and elevated premium sound quality.
Since music has already made the mass transition into a fully digitized distribution process, it is not surprising that many websites allow smaller bands to freely post and share their music. Services like Spotify, Pandora, Bandcamp and Soundcloud all allow smaller bands to submit their discography to be circulated on radio stations, along with the ability to have their own profiles on the site.
Due to the popularity of the sites and the amount of traffic they receive each day both from mobile apps and browser access; it is no small wonder that many smaller, undiscovered bands long for their music to be hosted on one of these sites. To be able to be discovered, liked, followed and subscribed to is a testament to the way digitized music works, and the way a band gains notoriety nowadays.
By lowering the price range for a premium membership specifically for college students, it seems as though the idea was partially based on the idea that the younger age will elicit the need and want to discover new music instead of sticking with the old, stagnant favorites. By branching out and discovering new music, the customer will use the application or browser tool more often, making their overall popularity among college students higher. Not only does Spotify realize that college students are broke, they also realize that the demographic has an intense and sometimes insatiable need to discover new music. This spells good news for the company, the customer and the bands.
With the change in Spotify’s prices and policies, it is possible that more services like this will lower their prices for specific demographics that are more likely to subscribe to their services. The music business will not be going down the drain anytime soon and nor will the popularity of music radio.

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