Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Spotify’s New Deal: No Facebook, No Music

Reports out today indicate that as part of Spotify’s big integration with Facebook, the music service now requires new users to log in with their credentials from the social network.

Put another way: No Facebook, no Spotify.

Really? Really, says Spotify PR rep Angela Watts. Here’s her statement, via e-mail:

As an existing Spotify user, you can still use the service without actively using Facebook. However, from last Thursday, all new users will need to have a Facebook account to join Spotify. To us, this is all about creating an amazing new world of music discovery. To make this as good and simple as it possibly can be, we’ve integrated Spotify login with Facebook login. By adopting Facebook’s login, we’ve created a simple and seamless social experience.

And for most users, that should be the case. That said: The move will undoubtedly turn off at least two groups of users: Those who aren’t interested in sharing their musical tastes with their friends, and those who don’t have Facebook accounts at all (some of these people still exist — more on that later).

Why would a music service that’s still trying to beat the odds — even at two million paying users, Spotify isn’t nearly the size that it needs to be to become the first breakout music subscription service — risk turning off potential customers?

Easy: Because Facebook is offering it the chance to market itself — over and over and over again — to 800 million users. That worked very well for Zynga, and Daniel Ek and company are clearly hoping to pull off the same stunt.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work