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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

  • August 18, 2011

Don't Forget Tech Can Make You Happy - Or Why I Love Spotify

It's understandable that most of the content on this B2B marketing blog centers on business technology. But every once in a while, a personal tech innovation comes along that captures our attention. Music-sharing service Spotify is one such innovation. What makes Spotify remarkable? I asked John Bigay, who is not only the CMO of a publisher and media company Barefoot Books, but also one of the most "plugged in" music fans I've ever met. Here are John's thoughts on Spotify.

We live in remarkable times. The speed and scope of innovation in technology is nothing short of amazing. For those of us who work in and around digital media, it's easy to become numb to that fact, and even become jaded toward the next big thing. They all begin to run together in a blur, just another chore to explore, engage or skip over.

But every once in a while, I'm stopped in my tracks. I reminded that technology is here to serve us, to make our lives richer in some way, and I fall in love all over again. It happened for me the first time I held an iPhone and it happened again just a few short weeks ago when Spotify arrived.

For those who don't know it, Spotify is a subscription music service. With it, you can listen to a massive library of music. It integrates with your existing digital library and like iTunes you can create playlists. You can listen for free online with ads or for a monthly fee listen ad-free and listen offline on your iPhone or Android device.

Now let me say at the outset that I'm a music fanatic. But that doesn't give every music-related technology a free pass with me -- far from it. I rarely use Pandora, never use Last.fm, MOG or Rhapsody, even though I'm a prime target for them. So what was different about Spotify?

Great user experience: It was dead simple to use. Integrated incredibly well with iTunes, so I didn't feel like I had to leave the thousands (yes, thousands) of tracks I had there behind. They made it easy for me to transition.

Great selection: The buzz on Spotify before they launched was that they have everything. So the first thing I did when I got in was go crazy in the search bar trying to stump it. And if a handful of those initial searches had come up empty I would have been gone. But they didn't. Instead I found myself the holy grail of music fans -- access to everything (or pretty darn close to everything) and I was hooked.

Great pricing: Their freemium model worked like a charm with me. If I had to pay from the outset, I'm not sure I would have jumped quite as fast. But the features of the premium membership were compelling, I got to kick the tires for free and the price was right. I upgraded on the second day.

As a digital marketer these were valuable reminders, that the user experience has to be perfect, the importance of delivering on your brand promise, and the impact of the right pricing strategy. But more importantly, it reminded me that I can still be surprised and delighted by technology. No, it's not a medical or clean tech breakthrough, or another marketing tool for me to use. But for a music lover like me, its technology at its best -- pure joy.

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