According to Onavo, an appmaker/analyst that recently estimated install rates across several countries, 3.4% of American iPhones have Spotify installed as of July 24. While it’s smaller than the percentage in other countries (apparently 18.6% have the service installed in Sweden), this still speaks to the popularity of the streaming service. If this data is accurate, it shows how fast Spotify has been growing in the States in less than a month (not to mention that the service is still on an invite-only basis). It will be interesting to see how this percentage changes once Apple’s iCloud comes out.
While Spotify continue to grow, the hoopla surrounding Century Media Records’ pull-out continues as well. We’ve heard from the label’s rep, Spotify, and other bands supportive of the service, but now we know how bands on Century Media’s roster feel about the situation. First up, Iced Earth founder/guitarist Jon Schaffer released a statement voicing his opinion on Spotify while also asking fans to respect Century Media’s decision, saying:
“We understand Century Media’s position. The music industry has been deeply and irrevocably affected by illegal downloading on the Internet. I understand that all too well. In fact, all professional musicians today understand that. But Spotify is one of the most important developments in music I’ve seen in quite awhile. It allows fans to search for music from bands all over the world — sometimes rare, impossible-to-find, or out-of-print music. They hear it, decide they like it, and seek it out to buy it from a variety of sources — legal sources like iTunes, Amazon, or Amazon Marketplace.
That’s a good thing. Stealing music is not. But sampling it on Spotify — which is legal and highly regarded worldwide — is not stealing it. If it were up to me, I’d put Iced Earth’s music back on Spotify. But I also have to respect the wishes of Century Media, our record label. They’re only trying to protect the best interests of their bands.”
In a post on his own blog, Jens Ryland of Borknagar took more of an analytical look at the debate, saying in part of his statement:
“Stepping into this salad I’m still undecided which side I’m actually on. The way I see it, this situation is an ongoing shape-shift of the whole business. And it’s still in its early stages, most people and businesses are still confused and have little idea of what is going on and noone can really see the outcome of this. It makes most of the ongoing debate into a blabber of nonsense where nothing constructive comes out. Spotify are hiding the numbers, Century Media is offering critics to come work for them for free and MetalSuck are stating that most bands would be better of with no payment as it would lower the use of drugs! Guys, this isn’t going to renew the music business!
I think I just decided to not side with any of these.
What is this all about then? It strips down to a relation between me as the musician and my audience and listeners. In this equation all the others are mere middlemen. And I want to reach my audience in a way that allows me to keep working as a musician and keeps the audience happy. As simple as that. And it involves some actual income from all the work.”
Two different but interesting points of view from two of Century Media’s artists. Of course, as Spotify continues to grow (and that 3.4% is a good sign it will), the debate will also continue on.