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.