This could possibly be perceived as somewhat self-indulgent, since it won’t mean much to the average music listener, but Spotify adding the ability to embed tracks is another step in what might just be the future of the music industry.
For those still unfamilair with Spotify, hit our beginners guide, but in short, it’s a music streaming service. That’s nothing revolutionary in itself, but Spotify’s business model is. Spotify earns money based on subscriptions or ads, and like a radio station, uses part of that income to pay the appropriate fee to the rightsholders of any track played on its system. The same system and fees are applicable to the tracks embedded on websites, so now bloggers can freely embed tracks without stepping into the murky legal area of uploading an mp3 to a sharing service. Even if you have all the rights to upload such a track, it can still get lost due to a service getting shafted by the DHS like what happened to Megaupload, or even worse, having your own site suddenly taken down like what happened with OnSmash or Dajaz1. Embedding a Spotify track is 100% legal though, artists get paid directly for blog love, and those bloggers don’t have to worry about getting OnSmashed for posting the wrong track. Wins all around.
Does it all smell like roses though? Unfortunately, not really. Despite containing an impressive catalogue, Spotify still doesn’t hold everything, as evidenced by the embedded player below, containing only 16 of the tracks the TRU Brain Trust chose as the top 20 rap songs of 2011. What’s even worse, Spotify has to negotiate with the organizations representing rightsholders of music in every country it operates in individually. As a result, it’s still not available globally.
Not being available globally is a major downside that they’ll have to circumvent somehow to replace Sharebeast, Hulkshare Soundcloud or even Youtube, as the blog player of choice. So far Spotify is only spreading further though, and the aforementioned rightsholders organizations can’t keep frowning upon these sorts of business models, unless they want to see themselves driven to extinction. Musicians getting paid directly for online plays? Bloggers can probably xpect to get a lot of promo mails with Spotify premiers and their corresponding embed codes in the future.