What Hi-Fi (UK) - - 40 Years -

Af­ter it launched in 2008, it didn’t take long to re­alise Spotify was go­ing to change the way we lis­tened to mu­sic for­ever. By of­fer­ing free (with ads) ac­cess to a stream­able li­brary of mil­lions of songs, Spotify un­der­mined a busi­ness model that had been in place since mu­sic be­gan.

The op­tion of ‘Pre­mium’ mem­ber­ship, which im­proved sound qual­ity and deleted the in­ter­rup­tion of ad­verts, made more sense – but ei­ther way, the fun­da­men­tal propo­si­tion of ac­cess to a planet’s-worth of mu­sic with­out hav­ing to store it proved ir­re­sistible.

By March 2016, Spotify had claimed 30 mil­lion pay­ing users, in­spired a slew of im­i­ta­tors and opened up an on­go­ing philo­soph­i­cal con­ver­sa­tion about the value of mu­sic and the re­mu­ner­a­tion mu­si­cians might re­al­is­ti­cally ex­pect for their work.

“It didn’t take long to re­alise that Spotify would change the way we lis­ten to mu­sic” Spotify

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