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Why it is worth switching to Spotify: the advantages of a streaming service that is close to launch in Russia

In early March, users of the Spotify Android application noticed that it was partially translated into Russian. One of the largest music services in the world has already been planned to launch in Russia several times: the last time the head of the company Daniel Ek announced this in March 2018. According to a source, Spotify will officially appear in Russia in the spring.

Fortune Photos
Fortune Photos

Now Russian users have to listen to music in the service using a VPN or pay for an account registered in another country. But soon such difficulties may disappear.  editor, who switched to Spotify in 2017, explains why Apple Music users, Yandex Music, Boom and Google Play Music should pay attention to another service.

Various subscription options, including free

In this article I will not touch how users from Russia create and pay for accounts in Spotify. It is assumed that in the case of the arrival of the service, these tips are simply not needed. But for those who need, I will leave links to other instructions . Now imagine that the streaming service has already appeared in Russia.

I’ll start with the main advantage over Apple Music: Spotify has a free version. If the service comes to Russia, then it will be enough to download the application and register. But in the free version there are limitations that particularly affect mobile apps. Among them:

  • Ad inserts;
  • Albums and playlists can only be listened to randomly. Exception – 15 playlists from Spotify;
  • You can skip no more than six tracks per hour;
  • Cannot save songs for offline listening.

For those who are not satisfied, there is a Premium version. Just like everyone else: you pay once a month and get access to all the benefits of the service.Subscription price in the USA is 10 dollars (650 rubles) for a personal account.This is a lot compared to competitors in Russia, but Spotify has a regional pricing policy. That is why Russian users now mainly take subscriptions in the Philippines, and not in North America.

For those who want to test the service, Spotify Premium has a 30-day trial period.

The most economical option is a “family” subscription, which costs $ 15 (almost 1000 rubles). The price is divided by a maximum of six people, each of which has its own Premium account. Because of this, the recommendations of different family members do not mix.

Spotify Desktop Client
Spotify Desktop Client

Often, Russian users of Spotify just unite in the “family” and throw off a subscription. Recruitment is carried out among friends and in social networks: with the advent of service in Russia, this practice is likely to become even more popular.

Convenience

This is rarely talked about while enumerating the advantages of Spotify, but the dextup application is a very significant advantage. You can’t listen to music in Apple Music on laptops and computers without running iTunes: there are a couple of players , but they are all unofficial. Spotify also has a web version and a full-fledged client that can be controlled from a smartphone – and vice versa.

You listen to music on the street from your smartphone, you go home and just switch the song on which you left off to the laptop. I don’t know how competitors have it, but it’s really very convenient.

Also in Spotify there are seemingly optional features that some users greatly appreciate. My favorite is the Behind The Lyrics section with the support of Genius, where they tell the story of the creation and the meaning of the lines of some hits. In other songs there is a video sequence built into the player, which is adapted to the screen of the smartphone.

And in Spotify, you can listen to podcasts, learn about concerts in your city and even buy merch of some artists. Spotify can be enabled on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. True, I have not used any of these functions in a year and a half. Although no, I used one: albums, tracks and playlists can be shared in Instagram’s “stories” (but without the music itself, which is a pity).

Emphasis on recommendations

More or less all streaming music services have learned to recommend music. Therefore, if you switch from Apple Music to Spotify, you will understand right away: charts, curator collections, playlists for any genre, theme and mood. Often the recommendations fall into my musical tastes, but sometimes – not at all.

There is a useful “Radio” function: you choose a song, a playlist or an album, and the algorithms collect an infinite selection of something similar. I like the fact that Radio is automatically turned on immediately after listening to an album.

Separately, I note a series of playlists, on which Spotify makes a special bet.

Discover Weekly and Release Radar

Spotify’s two business cards are personalized weekly playlists that try to match the taste. Every Monday, Spotify sends 30 tracks, which, according to algorithms, should please me.Artists of the genre, which I often listen to, tracks of familiar groups that I have not yet included. This is Discover Weekly.

Algorithms can be “taught” – listen to more music, like tracks and remove from the collection those that you didn’t like. Over time, the playlist can turn into a great place to search for new artists / songs.

Release Radar – about the same, but about the new music. Every Friday, Spotify sends a collection of songs from releases of bands and artists that you like. And sometimes they throw a couple of songs from the albums that you didn’t even know about – suddenly they would go too.

Daily Mix

If Discover Weekly and Release Radar is a story about finding a new one, then daily collections will rather leave you in the comfort zone. Daily Mixes is a series of daily playlists, where songs are grouped by genre, country and nationality. It all depends on what the user has been listening to lately.

Usually several playlists. Personally, I have four of them now: pop punk, Russian rap (if I start listening to English, it will appear as a separate compilation), indie and also indie, but more sad. If you listen to Indian songs in Spotify for a week, the Daily Mix with them will most likely appear.

The selection is not limited to the tracks and constantly loaded. But some songs are in “hard rotation” – this is rather a minus than a plus.

Other playlists

Periodically, other personalized playlists appear in Spotify. The most famous of them – partSpotify Wrapped, summarizing the musical habits of users by the end of the year. What you listened to, how long, how much your taste is unique – all this is shownin the form of cards. And then it becomes available.personal top 100 songs plus a separate playlist in the style of “you did not listen to it, but we decided to advise you.”

Users over the age of 16 can also listen to “Your Time Capsule” – a collection of songs “from youth”, compiled by the Spotify algorithms. I have Linkin Park, Blink-182, Gorillaz and Papa Roach there – that is, everything is correct. Although mistakes happen too: I started listening to some Drake quite recently, but his old songs are in my Time Capsule.

What is content from Russia?

Spotify has not yet appeared in Russia, so a logical question arises: how is it going with domestic music? In short, not bad. There are most more or less famous performers: from Alla Pugacheva and Lada Dens to Hasky and Oksimiron. The song “Million Scarlet Roses”, by the way, has a million auditions in Spotify.

Back in 2017, we had to wait a long time for a single or album of an artist from Russia to appear in the service. Now, in my opinion, there is no such problem: after a few hours you can listen to the right songs in Spotify.

But I repeat: all this concerns more or less well-known performers. With the “underground” problems begin, and here the same Boom with music from VKontakte is much more useful. Although it’s as lucky as that: I found groups with a couple thousand listeners a month in Spotify.

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