Facebook users are logging in and voicing their concern that Spotify has partnered with the devil by making it a requirement to have a Facebook account in order to sign up for the streaming music service. Helpful comments have included, “Thanks Spotify. You’re a mensch.” Lots of other services have partnered with Facebook to allow users to share what they’re listening to in their streams, but Spotify is the first to go so far as to make Facebook integration a must.
Spotify’s response to those concerned about their privacy? Go and set up a fake Facebook account and use Spotify that way. While an official acknowledgment of this suggestion has yet to be issued by Zuckerberg and crew, they’re probably not into their new partner encouraging users to break their terms of service (see part 4, section 2, “You will not create more than one personal profile”) and subsequently prevent the social network from accurately collecting the personal data it so desperately needs. Spotify is also encouraging users to manage their personal settings, from within both Spotify and Facebook, to exert more control over what’s being shared.
Spotify has seen over a million new users join since the partnership went into action, but most analysts acknowledge that this is really a boon for Facebook, not Spotify. Instead of building relationships with license holders and trying to create a Spotify-type service within Facebook, Facebook is having the service providers compete for access within the world of Facebook. Facebook then sells ads targeted to people based on what they’re listening to and Spotify gets more users whom they’ll try and turn into paying members.
To entice new users to make the switch from their free account to a paying one, Spotify is offering six months of free membership benefits, the estimated amount of time it takes for a user to appreciate the value in the services offered through a Spotify subscription. While the ads are mildly annoying, the free content users can get without a membership should suffice for most.
If this marks the beginning of the end for Spotify (which it doesn’t) there will inevitably be another service around the corner waiting to take its place as Facebook’s best music buddy.