Spotify Open offers free music access to all, while mflow offer a new way to earn from your music playlist

18May10

Spotify today opened their free digital music streaming service to all UK web users. Previously users needed to supply friends with an invite to register for ad-funded Spotify, but now the door is open to all for this freemium service. The ad-free Unlimited service is available to UK listeners at £4.99 per month.

While the Spotify service is excellent, I personally still prefer the free service from Last.FM; for the same reasons that restrict growth for many new or challenger brand digital services:

- I have built up an asset library that’s now inconvenient, or more expensive, to replicate
elsewhere.
- I have a social network that I share music with and regularly listen to playlists from. Once the social network aspect of music library sharing is entrenched, it becomes increasingly difficult to shift loyalty to a new service.

Having said that, new platforms are creating interest in the music streaming and digital radio channel market. Whether this means listening to your favourite DJ play tracks when and where you want, or potentially earning a small return from the music playlists you create.

While DJ’s have been earning set-hire or donation-based income from fans within Second Life for the last few years. New Online or app based music services are starting to appear again.

A recent entrant being mflow: HERE

This service is interesting, because of its great Interface Architecture, social network bias, and the interesting promise of a share in the profit whenever your contacts buy a copy of a track from your playlist. Artists, music magazines and DJ’s are starting to create channel-like playlists on the service (Temper Trap, NME and Zane Lowe to name 3 examples).

I’m looking forward to seeing this service move into the mobile market when it launches an app in the next year or so.

For Account Planner colleagues, you’ll be interested to hear that mflow is the work of Atan Burrows, former Tequila/ Planning Director.

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