Wednesday, 26 August 2015

I said goodbye to Spotify

I was probably rather late to the Spotify party. I had been managing perfectly well with my rather large music collection and digital radio until we had a Spotify playlist set up for the work barbecue. I thought the service was really good. I was impressed by the size of the catalogue and the apps across various platforms. Added to this, my station of choice, Kerrang!, had gone from Digital Radio. So I signed up.

Now, barely a few months later, I am quitting Spotify.

This is in light of the recent terms and conditions changes Spotify have began rolling out. They are demanding access to potentially a huge amount of personal data. As Paul Mason from The Guardian writes:

As well as my photos, contacts, audio and video, Spotify wants the right to collect data not just on my location “but the speed of your movements, such as whether you are running, walking, or in transit”. It would see what I post and like on Facebook and it will store my credit card information, share it with payment processors and use all of this to fire adverts at me.

That's right, they want access to ALL my contacts and media on my phone or device, amongst other things, and will share these with advertisers and 'business partners'.

I fully understand that, as with a lot of software, "if you are not paying for the product, you are the product". However, this new policy isn't just aimed at the free users of Spotify, this new policy will also apply to the 20 million of us or so that pay for Premium. This is where it really gets to me. Yes, if your service was free then providing a quality product won't be cheap and this is how you could model your business to make money, or encourage people on to a paid subscription. But if you are going to go after the paid users too, in what feels like a gross invasion of privacy, then I for one will no longer be funding the service and I certainly won't be allowing access to my personal data (not to mention numbers and addresses belonging to my various contacts).

In the last few months Amazon Prime Music has launched in the UK and, while not as vast as Spotify's collection, will provide me with ample music choice in its stead.

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