Saturday, April 16, 2011

Metro warning as Spotify cuts back

First, lets just sit with mouths agape that yesterday's edition of the Metro led with Spotify making some small cuts to its free offering.

Not just mentioned; it put it on the front page:

Technically, it was page three, as there was an advertising wrap-around for 3, but still: Spotify decided the main news in the world yesterday morning was ten hours fewer free listening to songs.

You can see why Metro might be keen to fight for free media models, and god alone knows I don't want to put a newspaper off covering a tech story on page one, but the story was really bad. It's been revised a bit for the online edition, but the opening of print edition deserves a bit of attention:
Online music streaming service Spotify is to halve the amount of free music users can listen to - raising fears of a return to piracy.
Let's give them a pass on the use of the word "piracy", even though they probably shouldn't, and just turn over this contention that swapping Spotify free users from twenty hours free to ten will lead to "a return to piracy".

The assumption that, somehow, what Metro is calling piracy has been somehow vanquished is surprising enough; but the idea that the extra ten hours will make a difference big enough to go from a world without, to a return to is quite a lazy assumption. Even if the Metro had couched it as '...worries a complete withdrawal could lead some users to return to unlicensed music services' it would have been a start.