Spotify Premium faces challenges from windowing, a concept meant to drive purchases from outlets like the iTunes Store, Amazon MP3 and the Android Market for Music for a period before they become available on streaming music sites like Spotify and MOG.
The latest concept trend facing Spotify, MOG and other streaming music sites is "windowing," a concept that holds back new releases on streaming music sites and movies on sites like Netflix. This runs a big risk for all of the Spotify Premium users, who are paying a monthly Spotify subscription fee to listen to music. It redefines the notion of whether one might pay for a Spotify subscription service if new releases are only available after they're new.
Spotify guy Ken Parks has thrown his bit into the fray, saying "My initial take is that it's a very bad idea. From a user standpoint, it's a pretty hostile proposition. The notion that you would want to withhold records from people who are paying 120 pounds or euros or dollars a year is just really mind-boggling. It's pretty hostile to punish your best customers and fans. We think it's a wrongheaded approach." Rhapsody CEO Jon Irwin had similar comments recently.
Windowing would allows bands and recording labels to release an album via digital outlets like the iTunes Store, Amazon MP3 and the Android Market for music for a period (like, a month) before making them available on streaming music sites, under the theory that albums will sell better that way, or on the other side of the coin: do streaming music sites like Spotify and MOG keep people from buying new music because they can just stream them instead of buying? What do you think? Do you buy more or stream more, and what service do you use?