First Person Experience: Spotify combines free music and friends

Annunciata Williams
Staff Writer

Spotify is a relatively unknown online social technology with great potential.

I did not know a lot about Spotify, except that it clutters up my Facebook page as it lets me know that someone is listening to a certain song at that very moment.

Since I am naturally curious, I started researching and asking questions about the service.

First, I visited Spotify’s official website to find out what it is all about. I clicked on the “What is Spotify?” link and was introduced to this online music streaming service.

Spotify became available in almost all countries in November, but is still a baby in the music industry.

“It sucks waiting for music,” Gigi Soriano, a student at the University of La Verne, said.

Spotify has millions of free songs that do not even need to be downloaded, but instead stream live.

Spotify provides not only unlimited songs, but users can create playlists and the program will look up similar songs and artists for listeners, which is similar to what Pandora will do so that users can learn about new artists.

Spotify also allows its users to share music with their friends and listen to music with any device, anywhere.

Next, I took to the streets to find out what the students of the University of La Verne thought about Spotify.

In an informal survey of 15 students, only one person had heard of Spotify before.

Many thought it might be too similar to other applications, such as I Heart Radio or Pandora, and that it would need to have some really unique features.

“It reminds me of LimeWire,” Soriano said.

Soriano had never heard of Spotify before, but said she would like to try it.

Most of the students surveyed said they would like to try it, except for some of the foreign students because they were not sure if Spotify would have the music they listen to.

Although Spotify can be used in almost any country, it will not always have musical artists from those countries.

A group of students in the Student Center said they were hesitant to try Spotify because they had never heard of it before.

Most programs like Spotify spread by word of mouth, and currently most consumers do not really know about it.

“I use it every day,” Tess Zasadny said.

She was the only University of La Verne student out of those asked who have used Spotify, but also has a few issues with it.

“They might not have what you want,” Zasadny said.

However, Zasadny also talked about how Pandora and I Heart Radio make up for what Spotify lacks.

“I use Pandora, but there’s commercials and it’s very limited,” Jade Kelly, a student at La Verne, said.

She was excited to hear that with Spotify she would not have to listen through any commercials or ads and that their database had millions of songs and artists to choose from.

“It would be convenient,” Kaitlyn Lopez, a University of La Verne student, said.

Spotify can be listened to anywhere, at any time and with anything. It even has an offline mode so you can continue to listen to music even if you do not have an Internet connection.

However, all these various features come at a price. The original offer of unlimited songs is free, but all the additional elements, such as mobile, offline mode and zero advertisements, cost a monthly fee of $9.99.

Spotify allows its users to share songs through Facebook so that friends can see what other friends are listening to.

Spotify also provides biographies of the artists you are listening to, so listeners can learn more about your favorite singers.

Recently Spotify has been adding free apps, such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and The Guardian, which can be found on the left sidebar of Spotify under the title “Apps.”

As difficult as it was to find University of La Verne Students who had heard of Spotify before, it was even more difficult to find negative comments about the service.

Annunciata Williams can be reached at

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