Streaming music (through WIFI or hardwire) is a controversial medium. Strong arguments can be made for how streaming has both improved and degraded the music industry. Here is what we think you should know…
Spotify accepts ALL artist submissions
…without screening for popularity, payola or quality. This open-door policy has enabled them to build an OUTSTANDING library of folk, experimental and small-niche music.
This service also provides a huge selection of AUDIOBOOKS (tricky to find, but if you know the exact title they pop up easily, and can be a real lifesaver on cross-country road trips.)
Heard They Underpay Independent Artists?
It’s true. All streaming services underpay lesser known artists, but at least Spotify pays much better than YouTube per-stream, and they provide excellent tools for building a global audience from scratch.
It’s FREE (see below)! You can join quickly by following the prompts in a black pop-up window that appears after you click any Spotify Music Player, or join HERE, without providing any financial information. You also have the OPTION to accept a 90-Day Free Trial of Spotify’s Premium Service. Either way, after joining, scroll down past all the “Upgrade to Premium” offers and click “Web Player” at the bottom, to get right to the music.
Spotify’s Basic Service gives you access to everything in their tremendous music library. However, you must tolerate annoying ad interruptions, lower sound quality, listening on Shuffle Play (which is unfortunate for the playlists we’ve arranged into stories), and needing WIFI or an Internet connection. Someday you might want to upgrade to Premium, but who can argue with unlimited FREE music?
Paying $10/mo. for Premium lets you listen offline, in order, ad-free, with higher sound quality, and if you enter by clicking any Saved playlist (back door entry) you can enjoy a private experience with self-directed Searching.
You already know what you like, and it’s easy to find your favorite songs on Spotify.
Of course, some of your favorites come packaged with emotional baggage, so changing your music can feel like buying a new car! But who needs a personal music shopper? Can’t you just ask a friend for suggestions, or use Release Radar and Discover Weekly?
It Depends What You Want.
Spotify’s suggestions for you based upon…
WHOSE music you “Heart”
So Release Radar displays new music from artists you already know about, and Discover Weekly displays the most commercial music that more or less sounds like your favorite artists.
Below all this hype lurks a hidden layer of independent music that gets little or no advertising, because its producers lack commercial funding. Most playlist curators specialize in finding sub-popular music, which takes a lot of time and industry knowledge, but is it worth finding?
Imagine a Parallel Universe
The pop music you loved as a kid filled our airwaves with expensive recordings funded by wealthy record labels. Nowadays, an even huger quantity of niche-hits are coming out of garage studios funded by streaming. If you haven’t already noticed this trend, pay attention, because the results are profound. Today’s departure from commercialism has sparked a creative explosion rivaling the 1960’s! Songwriters are freely expressing whatever they feel…with mixed results…
It’s a Matter of Personal Preference.
Some pop stars have actually started copying independent artists. However, one listener’s trash is another listener’s crush, so it’s worth hunting for playlist curators whose taste matches your own. Then you can either Save (Heart) their playlists for repeat listening, or else use them as source-material for creating your own.