Spotify needs no introduction. The Swedish music-streaming app has generated positive buzz since its launch in 2008; available in over 17 countries, hosting over 20 million tracks with 15 million active users and over 4 million paid subscribers. Spotify has found the winning formula for on-demand internet music enthusiasts to get their fix and for artists to get a fair compensation.
Having said that, Metallica, once outspokenly in opposition of music file sharing, has just allowed their full catalog to be accessed through Spotify’s database. Every single one of the band’s albums including ‘Kill ‘Em All,’ ‘Master of Puppets,’ ‘Metallica (The Black Album)’ and ‘….And Justice for All’ will be stream-able for Metallica fans across the world to enjoy. Enter, sandman.
Drummer Lars Ulrich represented the band at a press conference in New York City to announce the news with Daniel Ek, CEO and Founder, Spotify and Sean Parker, Board of Directors, Spotify. Parker, a co-founder of Napster (which has since folded into Rhapsody) had once infamously feuded with Ulrich over his application’s ethics and its lack of compensation to the music artists. Oh, how times have a-changed.
“Metallica has always tried to be in control of the way we present our music to our fans, which is why we’ve waited to see the way these online retailers and streaming services operate and gauge the overall fan experience before deciding to include our music,” Ulrich stated. “We now feel that Spotify not only has a proven track record, but it is by far the best music streaming service. We are beyond psyched to unleash our music through their platform.”
In other Spotify news, simultaneously to the Metallica announcement, the app service has rolled out a few new features to its usability. Creating a more personal experience, the update now allows listeners to utilize whats called the ‘Follow tab.’ With this, one can access music recommendations and playlists from Facebook friends or artists, as well as share their own with others.
You’re now able to ‘follow’ someone, be it an internet friend, musician, “influencers and media” to remain updated on what they’re listening to in real time. Some stand-out playlist contributors that are currently accessible for viewing pleasure are Barack Obama, Lou Reed, Huffington Post and not surprisingly, Metallica. I can see this being a popular feature — I’m at least a little interested in what’s bumping in the Oval Office these days, aren’t you?
The attribute will include new singles and albums from the artists you follow, the music and playlists shared by the influencers that you follow and intelligent recommendations based on your listening history including music, concert dates and music reviews of all kinds.
They didn’t stop there however. A few more tweaks were provided to the system like a new ‘audio preview’ feature (contact me if you need further explanation), mobile push notifications for new album releases and a ‘New Collection’ feature that allows users to save a custom playlist and come back to it later.
All updates listed above will be part of the app’s desktop “update in the coming weeks, with a full cross-platform upgrade arriving next year.”