Back in January I posted my Spotify Predictions for 2010. I predicted ten things I expected to see from the company and a few things I didn’t think would happen. It turns out that I called most of them correctly (but I did get a few completely wrong) — read on to find out more!
Here’s what I expected to see from Spotify in 2010:
Spotify for USA
For the second year in a row, I predicted Spotify would launch in the US. An easy prediction to make of course (the company has been making noises about this goal for ages), but not so easy for Spotify to fulfil. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has now conceded that a 2010 launch will not happen, but that they will launch in the US soon. So the race is on: which will happen first? Spotify goes live in the US or Duke Nukem Forever is released. Hail to the kings!
Spotify for Germany and China
Spotify did expand into a new territory in 2010, but it was into the Netherlands not Germany so I will have to mark this prediction as a fail. The Dutch launch was a huge success and has seen many excellent new community sites appear, chief of which is HotSpotify.
A Chinese launch was a wild-card (prompted by looking at some of Spotify’s investors), but on reflection this was probably not going to happen due to China’s continued music copyright problems.
MP3 Music Player
It took a while coming but Spotify is now a complete one-stop music player, thanks to the introduction of the Local Library feature back in April. Although there were some initial problems with the Gracenote tagging feature, the local library is now an integral part of the Spotify experience.
Syncing with Mobile
Playlists, friends lists and feeds are now synced across desktop and mobile versions of Spotify. I would have liked to have seen local music file syncing too, but until that’s added you could try something like DoubleTwist.
Social Features (Playlist Sharing)
I’d hoped for better social features and boy did Spotify deliver! The much-heralded Spotify: The Next Generation in April saw the introduction of a slew of new features, chief of which was the new friends list and deep-integration with Facebook. This has been so successful that Facebook’s own director of platforms recently said that Spotify *is* Facebook music.
Better Playlist Management
I asked for playlist folders in Spotify and in August that’s what we got: at a stroke, managing all your playlists in Spotify became much easier as you can now group them together in folders. It’s not perfect (for example, there’s no easy way to sort the folders or sort the playlists in them) and has not been pushed out to the mobile versions yet, but for me this was the most useful and necessary Spotify update of the year.
Premium Subscription Trials
Spotify briefly trialled a Spotify Premium 7 Day Free Trail last month, and I think it’s no co-incidence that their reported premium subscriber numbers shot up from 500,000 to over 750,000 in the space of a few months.
Integrated Recommendation Service
The recommendation engine received an upgrade back in February. Previously based on a limited set of data from AllMusic, the Related Artists section is now powered by Spotify’s own listener stats and is all the better for it. The artists recommended are now both relevant and (crucially) available to listen to on Spotify.
Spotify presentations often include far-reaching ideas for artist-related content. Things like linking to concert tickets, merchandise, mobile phone apps and fan exclusives. This sort of deep involvement is yet to materialise, although August’s Interactive Audio Novel from Hurts was a novel (ahem) beginning (and from a great band too!)
Another oft-touted potential feature of Spotify is mood-target advertising. As far as I know this has yet to be implemented or requested by an advertiser.
So How Did I Do?
Totaling up my predictions it looks like I got 6 out of 10 correct, with a “sort-of” or “partially-correct” for a couple of others. That’s one more than last year: I’m getting better at this!
I also added a section on “Some Things We Won’t See” – I called two correctly but got one wrong:
- I said we wouldn’t see any kind of “Spotify for Video.” I was right.
- I reckoned Spotify wouldn’t enable a SoundCloud-like music upload feature. Right again!
- Finally, I didn’t think we’d see a Windows Mobile Client. Spotify debuted on Windows Phones in October. I guess two-out-of-three aint bad!
Those were my predictions: what did you hope for or expect from Spotify in 2010?