Spotify – Music Copyright Restrictions are Irrelevant


Like many other media industries, the music industry has made a shift online. Spotify is an online platform which claims to pay the artists it features through advertising and membership fees. To own a premium account it will cost you £9.99 a month.

Whilst copyright restrictions surrounding music exist, they are not enforced in a way that stop you listening for free. On the web it is easy to download music illegally via a multitude of sites or to stream it on applications such as YouTube or Soundcloud. Spotify itself has a free tier. If this is the case, then why do people choose to pay for Spotify?

The Spotify Premium account offers “on-demand access to the Spotify catalog on all devices, no ad interruption, unlimited song skips, ‘Offline Listening’ and high quality streaming (320 kbps).” Apple currently sells it music downloads at 256 kbps.

According to Statista, from July 2010 to February 2016 the number of paying Spotify users has grown from 0.5 million to 30 million. In the past 6 months this number has grown exponentially by 10 million. Therefore, I’d argue that the relaxed music copyright restrictions, when it comes to personal listening, are irrelevant. People, despite being able to access music for free, are willing to pay an online music service monthly as long as it provides variety and high quality content via a reliable channel.



  1. Just looking at the huge amount of growth and popularity in streaming music online is in the past six months alone is crazy. I am one of those who choose to pay for Spotify Premium, but I pay the student rate! Do you think the music restrictions are really relaxed? Certain artists on Spotify, for example, Taylor Swift, does not allow her music to be on there because of the free streaming option.

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  2. This is such a controversial issue within the music industry, like Megan said, some artists don’t agree with free streaming, even though people can stream their songs (and also illegally download them) online for free. I know several people who have Spotify Premium and I think the app has it’s selling points (nobody likes their party to be crashed by an unwanted advertisement). At the same time, I can see how you think the copyright law is irrelevant – where there’s a will, there’s a way..


  3. I think it’s true that sometimes it is preferable to get music for free; however I got Spotify premium for 99p for 3 months and I will say it was difficult to make the switch back to the free version. Sometimes it is just far easier and quicker to stream a song than to go through all of YouTube and then download and convert a whole album. I think services like Spotify will definitely gain more popularity especially as more artists make their work available on these platforms.

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  4. It is an irony when people are still able to access music freely despite the rules and regulation imposed on this issue, as they say if the people want it the people get it. However, if anything the post you’ve written along with the statistic you’ve provided in same ways have proven that people are still willing to pay despite purchasing their media contents online illegally. Like everything else, I am sure people know when you pay for your movies and music, there is a level of reassures that what you purchase is quality.

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  5. I’m really surprised but also pleased to hear those statistics. I believe it’s right to pay for music – who are we to argue differently when someone has worked so hard at it? It’s very interesting to see that many people have opted for the premium account as opposed to the free option but as you said, I think it’s a case of being offered a good deal in return. Spotify make it very easy to want to switch to a premium account, when they have quite a few restrictions on the free one – the constant ad interruptions and not being able to listen to music offline. In many ways, it works in our favour to pay for something we can enjoy.

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