Time for the Annual Evaluation of Spotify

About once a year, I look at my music streaming accounts that I pay for, and think I should trim one. Currently, I pay for Apple Music (part of my One bundle), Amazon Music (because, well with Prime is about the cheapest), and Spotify.

In the way back, when I used to ride the train to the office 4+ days a week, I did an experiment on who streamed better, because in the wilds of Silicon Valley, at least the VTA line, there are 3 dead zones, and I hated my music stuttering. Then, Amazon Music was the gold standard. Hands down it had the best, most reliable streaming and buffering.

But since then, I listen to streaming much less on the road. In the Covid era I am mostly at home, or walking my dog, or doing things where the coverage of WiFi or cell is really good. Thus streaming quality is not a big deal.

Last year, about this time, I realized that I could just drop Spotify, and save that $10 a month.

I lasted about 3 months.

The compelling feature

No, it isn’t the Podcasts, in fact I am not sure I have EVER listened to a Spotify exclusive podcast.

It isn’t the library, as Apple far and away has the largest (at least of music that tickles my eclectic ear) library. It is DEEP especially if you are into esoteric progressive rock.

No, what makes it sticky – for me at least – is two fold. There is a huge collection of published playlists from other members, some that are fantastic. Someone made a well populated playlist of the music that is on the New Zealand show “Broken Wood” that is just fabulous. Or someone who has a similar bent for 80’s era guitar shredders. Several playlists.

Then, there is the decade that I have been building my own playlists, comfortable old friends, that while I try to duplicate them on Amazon or Apple, I just can’t replicate it (sure, I could do a side-by-side comparison, and gap fill, but time is a valuable commodity).

And that is why I keep coming back. Perhaps this time I won’t even make the attempt.

Just don’t say it

But of course, I could just go free listener, and have the “ad” experience.

No fucking way. It is totally worth the $$$ to me to not have ads. It is why I pay $5 extra on Hulu to have the ad-free experience in the streaming app.

Product Manager in Tech. Guitar player. Bicycle Rider. Dog rescuer. Techie.