Why I’m not sticking with Spotify, despite the hype

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It’s been a big week for Spotify – coming to Australia with huge fanfare. Everyone, even I, quickly jumped on board with the Free version (I’m assuming some even paid so they could stream music on their phones). And after just a week, I know that I won’t be sticking around for long – it isn’t better compared to my current service of JB Hi Fi Now.

And when I mean better, I mean it’s basically similar to JB Hi Fi – except it’s $12.99 to access its mobile apps. It’s around $9 per month to do the same thing with JB Hi Fi Now, and while it doesn’t have a vast array of apps like Spotify (heck, it’s even on Chris Southcott’s beloved webOS platform), I usually listen to JB Hi Fi Now on my iPod touch.

If you heard the TECHGEEK Weekly podcast before – I quickly got a one year subscription to the service after the one month trial, and was pretty impressed. But what instantly got me to the service wasn’t the interface or the library – but how I could pay for it.

I could simply buy a card from one of the many JB Hi Fi stores in my area, pay with cash or debit card, and simply type in the code. It may seem weird to you, but I tend not purchase things online – it’s a force of habit in order to not live beyond my means. And now, being a uni student, I have to budget everything – and as such,  I much rather pay now a one-year subscription than pay for it in monthly installments.

Spotify and Rdio do not have such a system – so I’m a bit more reluctant to go up and purchase them. I know they offer free plans – and I could use them instead, because being a Uni student, I’m essentially poor and need to find a proper job rather than blog (and I refuse to work in retail).

However, the fact is I see JB Hi Fi Now offering a cheaper plan than what Spotify or Rdio offer in terms of features. Mobile apps access is, as above, $9 per month, and you get offline mode. And I don’t need to install any fancy software on the desktop, I can access it on the web – on any computer at any time I want.

Heck, I could even use this on my University’s computers – though I probably wouldn’t due to download caps.

Below is the comparison of features of each service.

I’m not having buyer’s regret. I’m actually using JB Hi Fi Now more as a result of Spotify. In fact, on the day, I was listening to five albums – which I quickly found on JB Hi Fi Now and saved them for offline use. I’ve like them so I could listen to them without searching.

As far as I’m concerned, Spotify’s hype is a little too much.

Join the Conversation

  • The only great thing about Spotify is the local file sync, which as I’ve said isn’t on Windows Phone. It’s really an important feature because, apart from iTunes Match, nothing else lets you listen to your own files. It just matches it and if it doesn’t find it, you can’t listen. And, I know you may blame my music choices, but eventually you’ll try and make a playlist and you’ll be limited with any other service.

    But I also feel it’s a little over-hyped. It’s great, but no web interfact, crappy Windows Phone app (and the webOS one isn’t much better), and it’s just as expensive as actually buying and owning music. I might as well rent my music.

  • Yep, you’re right, not buying things online in 2012 is weird. Nobody needs two music subscriptions, so if you’d already paid for 12 months on NOW, it doesn’t make sense that you’d also have a spotify account.
    After that expires, I’d suggest you look at Spotify again. Although i love apps on Spotify, I think the dominant music subscription service will be the one that can land most of your friends. At that moment, that seems to be Spotify.

    • Spotify just offeres a better service than JB Hi-Fi Now. Sure, JB Hi-Fi Now can be bought in a store, and is slightly cheaper, but that’s it.
      Also, Jason, do you use the local sync option? It’s one of the most important pieces of Spotify to me, yet I don’t know anyone else who uses it.