All Sections

App Friday: Spotify aka Battle Cat

Team Recombu lurves Spotify. In fact, we often put Spotify links in stories and encourage readers to add tracks. So when Spotify announced that it was going mobile we smiled like children about to receive the best present ever, and if you grew up in the 80s, that was the He-Man and Battle Cat action figure.

Yes, that’s right, Spotify mobile is Battle Cat. Then, at one in the morning on the 7th of September Spotify appeared on the Android and iPhone app stores. We cheered, “by the power of Grayskull,” and proceeded to download the app tout de suite.

The app is superb and works as advertised, allowing users to stream music to their phones and cache playlists for when there’s no data connection. But if you’re familiar with He-Man you’ll know that he regularly had to fight Skeletor, a truly evil being. Paradoxically, Spotify seems to have a Skeletor of its own — the Premium account.

If you visit the iPhone app store you’ll see that Spotify has received over 10,000 ratings which average out at two out of five stars. It’s a dismal rating for what we think is a great service but when you dig into the user reviews you’ll see where the problem lies — it’s the fact that you have to pay £10 per month to use it.

For some the issue is simply that they don’t consider paying £120 a year, to essentially rent music, a fair price. It’s a decent point but compared to other subscription based services, we think it’s not that bad. What we think has happened though is that Spotify has nurtured a free music culture that is now biting back.

Most people use Spotify because it offers a free ad-supported option. Its popularity is firmly based around the fact that people no longer want to pay for tunes and are prepared to listen to the odd advert. So, Spotify, if you want to see those star ratings go up in the app store then we strongly suggest adding the free-to-use ad-supported model to the app, or your Battle Cat is going to revert to Cringer.