To myself and to countless others, Spotify is the streaming music service in almost the same way the Nintendo Entertainment System was the gaming platform in 1986. But what if I told you, my like-minded audiophiles, that it's not even the most popular music streamer? Most of the streaming music market still belongs to Pandora. Despite the many advantages Spotify offers, it was never dominant in the industry. And from the looks of it, it might be dying. Why would I say such a thing? Well, it's because so many influential superstars are pulling their music from Spotify's library. The platform has made advances in the streaming market, but has met fierce criticism at the same time. The arguments against Spotify are becoming more diverse, too. It's not just pay anymore, it's about sound quality now, and even about the experience. Here are three categories of streaming music dissidents. Quality/Experience This camp is inhabited by artists like Neil Young and Maynard James Keenan. Mr. Young created the Pono player to revive hi fi audio. The Pono is a device, not software, but an online music store comes as part of the deal. You carry it around like an iPod but the quality of the music on it is super high, much better than even CDs. Young decided to take all of his music off all streaming services, because the sound quality is unacceptable in his opinion. Has he heard about Tidal? Keenan, the Tool frontman, isn't displeased with just the audio. He thinks we should touch and experience music by buying CDs or vinyl. Tool isn't going to be streamed for now. Pay Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Jason Aldean, Bob Seger, King Crimson and many others have pulled their music from streaming services because they are unsatisfied by the pay artists receive per stream, which is very low. Jay-Z created Tidal as an alternative, and also cut a deal with Swift to host her music. Uknkown/Other Prince generally doesn't like how record labels and media retailers do business. He's pulled his music from a few streamers. Thom Yorke, Radiohead singer, called Spotify "the last desperate fart of a dying corpse." You can find Radiohead on Spotify, but no solo Yorke albums. The Beatles just aren't available for streaming yet. Who knows why? Garth Brooks says "no" to youtube, Spotify and every other streaming service. He's just not with it, but he's with his own Ghost Tunes shop. I know there's a positive side to all of this, from Spotify's perspective. It's the publicity. But what happens when more big names follow these artists' lead? Spotify could become a platform for discovering new music, rather than an all-encompassing free music warehouse. It's important to note that many of the artists I mentioned have pulled their music from more platforms than one. So, maybe the streaming industry as a whole will have to change.
While Taylor Swift may be the most popular and well-known anti-Spotify activist, there are others in the fight. Some aren't vocal, but they're making a difference. For example, Ohm and Sport are not well-known yet. They just released a track on Spotify, but they're not content to earn money the way artists on the streaming platform usually do. Besides the track, Ohm and Sport created Eternify. It's a website that streams 30-second clips of any song you want. The stream comes from Spotify and artists earn from Spotify when you stream at eternify.it. 30 seconds is the minimum length a song needs to be played before the artist earns money. It's been estimated that artists earn $.005 for a 30-second listen. Spotify claims it's a little higher, around $.006 - $.008. Whatever the actual range is, artists earn it more times if the first 30-seconds of their songs are played over and over, without any pause in between the beginning and the end. A full-length stream of a song that's 10 minutes long costs Spotify the same as a 30-second sample of the beginning of it, presumably. Eternify streams the first 30 seconds of any song you want, on repeat, and helps artists earn more money. Of course, you might want to turn the volume down. 30 second clips can get played out pretty quickly. This isn't the first team of tricksters that has fooled Spotify. A band called Vulfpeck once made an album of nothing but silent tracks, according to The Verge. They then encouraged all of their fans to stream the album during sleep. The proceeds, about $20,000, were used to fund the band's tour. As you would assume, the album was removed by Spotify. Maybe it would remain if the band hadn't requested streams during sleep. In the daytime, maybe fans would have listened to commercials without turning the volume down. Commercials, after all, are how Spotify earns money when non-paid users stream. Go earn your favorite band some money while Eternify is still online. Something tells me it won't be available for long.
So you're listening to a station on the free version of Pandora radio app, but you can't seem to settle on music you'd like to listen to, and maybe you skip a few songs. Before you know it, you've reached Pandora's 6 skip song limit. What are you ever to do? Enter new app "6 Seconds." Forbes reports that 6 Seconds is a radio-based streaming music app that pulls music from radio stations that you have to swipe left or right to listen to. The 6 Seconds app is similar to iHeart Radio, considering it plays music from stations around the country, but users can't choose which station to listen to. Instead, 6 Seconds allows users to search for songs, albums and artists or choose from a curated list of genres. 6 Seconds features a genre list much like Pandora's stations features. However, the experience of using 6 Seconds is much more like that of driving and listening to the radio; don't like the song? just swipe for a new one! The streaming music app was developed by Michael Robertson, founder of MP3.com, and is available for free on Android and iOS. Robertson says "this 'song hunting' makes the listening experience fun and personal.''